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First of all, what exactly are chiggers?
Well honestly, even I had no idea until I looked it up. So, for those of you who don’t know what a chigger is.
Here’s what it looks like:
It seems pretty tiny and innocent. But don’t get deceived by its appearance. Here’s a close-up!
Now would you say the same?
What are chiggers?
Chiggers are tiny insect-like mites who feed themselves on animals and humans. Sometimes called ‘red bugs’ or ‘harvest bugs.’ These ‘arachnids’ emerge from the ticks and the spider family. To be more explicit, these mites don’t feed on you for your blood but your skin cells and tissues. They are tiny to the extent that it is almost impossible to spot them with your naked eyes. As you saw above, the little red colored mites would hop onto you and feed on you, and you may not even realize owing to their excellent size. However, you will know for sure once you feel itchy all over.
But don’t you worry, this article shall give you some tips that’ll help you soothe your infected skin.
About chigger bites:
On doing a little bit of research, I found out about how troublesome and frustrating chigger bites are. The only reason I bothered researching about it was that my best friend said she got Chigger bites all over her. And I’m like… is that even a thing lol. But it turns out it indeed is! And it’s not a very pleasant thing either. It makes you want to scratch yourself rigorously, while it is highly recommended NOT TO.
Coming to the point,
The adult chiggers are not the ones to be feared of as they do not harm. Surprisingly, it is the baby chigger whom we need to fear from. These larvae are the criminals!
They would attach themselves onto you without your knowledge and leave their saliva on you consisting of enzymes that they utilize to liquefy their food, i.e., your cells. Upon which, your skin cells harden, creating a straw-like tube for them to feast on you. Eventually leaving red bumps or rashes on your skin.
Though not dangerous, but it will leave you itching yourself for days. Nor is it harmful, but excessive itching may cause infection, so better get it checked if you feel unwell at any time.
Where and how do they bite?
Chiggers are summer mites. Often spotted outdoors during summers and spring in every part of the world. Chigger bites are detected by spotting a series of bites altogether. Quite similar to mosquito bites, their bites cause red rashes on your skin. But unlike the mosquito bite, chigger bites in clusters, so you may find plenty of rash spots in just one area.
Moreover, chiggers are attracted to heat and usually bite in areas of folding that are warm and sweaty such as your waistline, beltline, armpits, behind your knees, crotch area, ankles.
There are always certain precautions you can take while going outdoors to avoid getting attacked by chiggers. Here we’ve got a few simple options for you:
Avoid touching the woods-
The most common and reliable preventive method. Chances of Chiggers sticking onto you will be lower as long as you keep your hands to yourself and not touch the trees and woods too often. Always chose to walk in the center, this way you won’t be brushing by the woods as much.
Use a bug-repellent (preferably DEET)-
this measure sure does make a big deal difference. As they say- ‘Prevention is better than cure’ any day! So, make sure you apply a bug repellent before going to bug-prone areas. Particularly in the areas you comparatively sweat more.
a bug repellent spray is a satisfactory protection; however, you may come across more harmful objects than just Chiggers such as snakes, scorpions and other arrays of insects. On the whole, ensure you’re fully clothed revealing bare minimum amount of your skin to increase protection.
Shower as soon as you’re indoors-
You can never go wrong with this one. Having a shower as soon as your back will wash away all the dirt and unwanted mites or insects off you reducing the damage perhaps caused.
How to Get Rid of Chiggers?
Chiggers stick onto for as long as they are well-served, and once satisfied will fall off you. This may take a few days or even a week or more. Since it’s not very harmful, its treatment is quite tolerable too:
Taking a Hot Shower-
I totally understand itching can make you go crazy out of frustration. And become unbearable. However, taking a hot shower immediately after getting back home will force the chiggers to fall off and soothe the affected areas. A hot shower will wash away the Chiggers stuck onto you lessening the itchiness and easing your pain. You must make certain to soap and scrub every part of your body.
Applying cold creams-
Cold creams and anti-itch creams like calamine lotion, menthol, hydrocortisone is the best treatment for reducing the effect of chigger bites. You could also take antihistamine pills like Zyrtec and Benadryl if you feel the need to.
Rubbing alcohol imparts relief as much as the itch-creams do. Alcohol encompasses a cooling effect on our skin that reduces the itching down. If in any case, you are unable to find alcohol, vinegar poses as the perfect substitute for alcohol. Bot are delivering the same level of contentment can be used alternatively.
Again, one best way to help soothe itching at a faster pace is using cold compressors. The cold compressor provides relief from the bothersome itching and swelling. They give you a feeling of relaxation after the continuous and rigorous process of itching yourself like a monkey. Alternatively, you may use frozen vegetables or a frozen bag of fries or peas. If you can’t get your hands on an ice-pack, a wet cloth would serve as equally impactful as an ice-pack.