Chiggers have numerous names such as harvest mites, red mites, mower’s mite, and berry bugs. They are red mites which belong to the arachnid family. Chigger bites are often caused by chigger larvae. The larvae burrow holes into the skin and deposit their saliva enzymes in the process.
Chiggers are often found outdoors around areas such as; woodland edges, berry patches and around tall grasses.
Chiggers bite around the ankles, waist and small skin folds.
The major symptoms of chigger bites include; rashes, red bumps, intense itching, and swelling.
Here are tips and good practices, to consider, in order to prevent chigger bites;
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on your shoe and socks.
- You could wear long, thick socks and pants to reduce the chances of getting bitten.
- You could use homemade bug sprays when outdoors.
- When you are outdoors, stay on the trail. Don’t wander into the bushes.
- Avoid chigger-infested routes.
- Chiggers like moist, murky, and thick vegetation. Try to minimize such habitat around your yard and landscape.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments to treat chigger bites;
1. Baking soda can be a huge help.
Baking soda is an effective remedy in that it reduces rashes as well as itching. As such, you’ll be able to eliminate the unsightly red rashes on your body. Furthermore, with baking soda, you also reduce the chance that your bites will become infected. Baking soda also functions as an itch reliever, because it has the effect of neutralizing acids on your skin.
If you’d like to use baking soda for your chigger bites, you can add a cup of it to a cool bath, stir it, and then wait about 15 minutes, so that it mixes properly. Take this kind of bath once every day, then use a soft towel to clean yourself off, since a rough towel might irritate your bites.
2. Listerine is good for reducing the effects of chigger bites.
Listerine works on chigger and other bites because of the menthol it contains since menthol is effective for cooling skin. Listerine also reduces itchiness and swelling. To use Listerine (or other kinds of mouthwash that contain menthol), wash and dry the bite and use a cotton ball to put the mouthwash on the bites.
3. Apple cider vinegar will help you out.
Apple cider vinegar is known not only for its health benefits but also for its anti-irritation and anti-bacterial attributes. You can put a small quantity of ACV (go for the unfiltered variety) into your bath water, which is at a lukewarm temperature, then spend at least 15 minutes inside the bathtub. After your bath, pat yourself down with your towel to dry yourself off and then use a mild moisturizer afterward in order to prevent dry patches from developing on your body.
Alternatively, you can also apply the vinegar to your bites and swellings with a cotton ball. In this case, rinse off with water after half an hour of applying ACV.
4. Apply some mentholated cream such as Vicks VapoRub.
When combined with a bit of salt, mentholated ointment such as Vicks VapoRub, will help you eliminate the itchiness and irritation caused by the bites. This is because vapor rub, and other mentholated creams, reduces the sensitivity of the itchiness and pain receptors of the body. Applying this substance, which contains menthol, will also help significantly reduce the risk of blisters developing on your skin.
5. Take a hot shower.
As soon as you get bitten, you can take a hot shower right away, as it will help reduce skin reactions caused by the bites. The water must be hot, but not too hot since overly hot water will cause you to hurt yourself. While showering, be sure to use an antiseptic soap and carefully rub your whole body down.
6. Use some kind of moisturizer after your shower.
Applying a moisturizer will also help reduce the effects of chigger bites on your skin. Note that you can use an actual moisturizer, whether it’s from the store or homemade. Ensure that your moisturizer is mild rather than strong since a stronger one will irritate your skin.
7. You can use olive oil in place of moisturizer.
Using olive oil will allow you to achieve much of the same itch-reducing effects. Also, note that olive oil is good for your skin in general. Another option is to put a bit of olive oil on your wounds directly (rather than putting it in your bath directly), which must be done a few times a day. You can also consider mixing the olive oil with either tea tree oil or honey for a more soothing feel.
8. Table Salt: not just for cooking.
Previously, we mentioned that you can use table salt when applying a VapoRub. However, you can also add natural salt to an herbal tea, then spray it on yourself (use a spray bottle) for effective relief. It’s particularly effective at reducing itching (even though it admittedly does sting a little).
9. Use hot water to wash your clothes.
Washing your clothes in hot water will remove any traces of chiggers left on them, thereby preventing you from getting bitten in the future.
10. Indian lilac leaves are a good remedy as well.
The leaves from Indian lilac tree are ideal for reducing swelling and itching because it’s both an anti-inflammatory and an anti-irritant. It will also help reduce the chance that you develop an infection as a result of your chigger bites. Profit from Indian lilac by boiling and simmering its leaves in a pot, alongside two or three cups of water. The simmering should be stopped after about fifteen minutes, after which you should strain the water out and wait for the solution to cool down. Once the solution is fully prepared, use it to rinse your swellings and bites twice daily.
11. You could also consider using Indian lilac (neem) lotion or cream.
Using this lotion will have much of the same effect as using India lilac tea as mentioned above. Be sure to use the lotion a few times a day for maximum effects.
12. Tea bags are an effective remedy.
Tannins, in tea, contain are astringent, which means that they will relieve you of problems caused by redness and swelling, as well as relieving itches. Use tea bags by boiling them in water, steeping them for about five minutes, letting the tea bags cool, then placing them on top of affected areas. Make sure that they stay on the area for a few minutes before you remove them. For maximum effects, do this twice a day.
13. Rubbing alcohol will make the itching go away.
Apply some rubbing alcohol onto your bites with a cotton ball; the substance will begin evaporating, which in turn will create the feeling of cooling. The cooling is stronger than the itching, with the result that your skin won’t feel very irritated. Moreover, rubbing alcohol will prevent infections from developing, and stop new swellings from being created.
14. Chamomile is useful for itch relief.
This herb helps reduce swelling and inflammation as well as itchiness and irritation. You can use it by making some chamomile tea, then use cotton to apply the tea directly to your bites. You’ll need to wait for about ten or twelve minutes before washing off the tea. This solution should be performed twice a day. You can also mix chamomile oil with castor and coconut oil. Apply this concoction to your skin 3 times a day.
Also note that you shouldn’t use chamomile if you’re pregnant or nursing, and you shouldn’t use it on your children. This is because the effects of chamomile on these groups hasn’t been completely studied yet.
15. Castor oil can help reduce itching.
To make the most of this castor oil remedy, simply rub it against your swellings or bumps, and watch as the itching starts to ebb away.
16. Make use of natural itch creams, such as calamine lotion.
These lotions, which you would normally use on mosquito bites, work on chigger bites as well. Simply spread some on the bites and wait for the effects to kick in.
17. Yellow turmeric will help against red chigger bites.
This is because of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory nature, which will help reduce the swollen areas of your skin. Also, turmeric will help prevent infections because of its antiseptic and antibacterial attributes. To use this remedy, cut turmeric roots into pieces and make turmeric tea. Then, apply this turmeric tea to the affected area.
You can also use dried powder instead of fresh turmeric roots. In the case of turmeric powder, form a paste by mixing it together with water. The paste is then applied directly to the sensitive areas, and then you need to wait for about half an hour. Once you’re done waiting, wash the paste off with water.
18. Aloe vera will help cool your skin.
For this aloe vera remedy, you can use the herb itself or you can use the gel derived from the herb. In either case, mix a quarter cup of aloe vera with a bit of essential oil of peppermint. Once these two substances have been mixed together properly, apply them to your bites to eliminate the itchy feeling.
19. Aspirin is good for itching as well as headaches.
Aspirin will help reduce the red skin and swollen areas that are the result of chigger bites. You can make use of aspirin by crushing a few pills, mixing them with water to create a paste-like substance, and then placing this paste on your swollen skin. After that, wait 10-15 minutes before rinsing it off.
20. Essential oils are all helpful and come in a variety of aroma.
As we said earlier, tea tree oil can be helpful for when you’re dealing with chigger bites. Also helpful are thyme oil and lavender oil. If you’d like to use any of them, simply place a few drops, of your essential oil of choice, into a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, then put the mixture on your skin and wait fifteen minutes for it to dry. Clean the area with a tissue thereafter. Do this twice a day for best effects.
21. Make use of a cold compress.
Cold compresses will cause your skin to become numb to itching sensations caused by chigger bites. In order to make this cold compress, you can use a small piece of cloth to wrap up some ice cubes, then press this wrapped ice on the bite’s swellings or inflammations for about ten minutes. You can keep it on (with small, regularly spaced breaks ever so often) if you find that the itchiness doesn’t go away.
22. Have a bath with Epsom salt or magnesium.
Simply put 1 cup of magnesium flakes into a bathtub filled with warm water, then immerse yourself in the bath. You can also replace the magnesium flakes with Epsom salt. Again, use about a cup of the magnesium flakes or Epsom salts. Put it in the bathtub, then take a short bath to relieve the itching.
22. Peppermint is a soothing cure.
Peppermint has the tendency of cooling down your skin, with the result that you’ll feel less irritation and itchiness. Furthermore, peppermint also functions as an anesthetic (pain reliever), and it increases circulation of the blood in those areas that have been affected by the bite.
Massage a few drops of peppermint essential oil on your bites, then wait for it to dry. While this is the most effective means of using peppermint to fight against chigger bites, note that it tends to be strong, so, if you have sensitive skin, dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut and olive oil.
24. Cold water is your friend too.
If other remedies are not readily available to you, you can try something as simple as soaking your inflammations and bites, caused by chigger, in cold water, as often as necessary, in order to eliminate the itching.
25. Oatmeal is good for your skin, not just your health.
Putting oatmeal on your skin is good for chigger bites because not only does it reduce irritation and inflammation, but it will also soothe your skin and calm down the itching. Colloidal oatmeal, in which the oats have been turned into a fine powder, is particularly effective in the case of chigger bites. To use oatmeal, you can add a cup of the oatmeal to a lukewarm bath, stir the bath, then soak inside the water for about a quarter of an hour. You can do this multiple times a day for the best results.
26. Don’t neglect cornstarch.
Cornstarch will help relieve any pain and irritation, provided that you add some to your bath water and then immerse yourself in the bath for fifteen to twenty minutes. After that, rinse off the cornstarch and pat yourself down. Remember, you can do this whenever you feel the chigger bite’s itch.
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