When a chigger bites, it injects digestive enzymes into the victim’s skin that decomposes the surrounding tissue for the chigger to eat. These digestive enzymes can produce profound itching and blisters on the skin.
Fortunately, chigger bites don’t cause any lasting damage or difficulties, but while their symptoms persist, they can be quite annoying. Therefore, merely waiting around for the effects of chigger bites to fade usually is not practical or realistic. Treating the symptoms, at least, and, if possible, helping to hasten the healing of the wounds those bites cause is typically required to prevent excessive scratching and permit you to get on with life undistracted.
How Not to Treat Chigger Bites
Firstly, note that many purported “home remedies” for chigger bites are actually useless and can even be harmful. Many of these common attempts are based on the false belief that chiggers burrow into the skin and, therefore, must be removed or forced to extricate themselves by somehow suffocating them. In these efforts, people have applied alcohol, bleach, nail polish remover, and other toxins to their skin unnecessarily. Do not make these same mistakes. Chiggers do not burrow into the skin.
There are many over-the-counter treatments you can buy to treat chigger bites. These include oral antihistamines to relieve inflammation and corticosteroid creams to relieve itching.
Home Remedies for Chigger Bites
In addition to these OTC medications are several natural remedies you can make or perform at home to help relieve chigger bites and their symptoms.
- Taking a cool shower or sitting in a cool bath
- Applying cool compresses
- Bathing with products containing colloidal oatmeal
Prevention is the Best Protection
Of course, the best way to protect yourself from the ravages of chigger bites is to avoid them altogether. The way to do that is with an effective, bug repellent like Proven Repellent, a DEET-alternative repellent that protects against mosquitoes, chiggers, and other biting insects. Proven provides all-day protection, lasting up to 14 hours against ticks and mosquitoes. It’s also available in a convenient travel size, so you can easily take it with you into nature as a backpacking bug spray.
Other ways to avoid getting chigger bites include:
- Washing with soap every time you come inside following outdoor activity
- Checking your skin for chiggers every time you come in from the outdoors
- Removing and washing all clothing worn outdoors as soon as you return indoors
- Wearing the proper clothing while outdoors in nature, including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, thick socks, and boots or high-top shoes. In particularly dense foliage, you can even tuck your pants legs into your boots or shoes for extra protection.
As temperatures start to warm up and we spend more outdoors, make sure your family is protected from chiggers and other insect nuisances. We developed Proven so that families like yours can enjoy the best parts of spending time outdoors together, but bite free!