How to Get Rid of the Itch From a Chigger Bite

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Chiggers, a type of tiny red mite larvae, inject a salivary secretion that dissolves skin cells when they bite. Most people experience intense itching three to six hours after suffering from chigger bites. Bites typically last for about a week, although intense scratching may lengthen the healing process. Relieving the itch makes you feel better and reduces your chances of developing a secondary infection from scratching.

Take a hot shower and wash yourself thoroughly with soap. Dislodging the chiggers won't stop the itching if they have already started to bite, but it may prevent additional bites.

Apply benzocaine or hydrocortisone ointment to the itchy areas according to the package instructions. Do not scratch after the ointment has been applied. Scratching chigger bites may lead to skin infections, and it won't make the itching better.

Visit your doctor if over-the-counter ointments don't provide relief. Your doctor may be able to prescribe stronger ointments.

Wash all clothes worn in chigger-infested areas in hot water before you wear them again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent chigger bites by wearing insect repellent, avoiding wooded areas and immediately showering after chigger exposure.
  • See a doctor if you experience signs of infection, such as pus, localized warmth or fever.

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