Chigger insects are small and spit venom on your skin causing itching and redness of skin. It is very small insect which is not visible by naked eyes. You may need magnifying glass to actually look at them. Chigger bites are itchy and can spread over the period of time if left untreated. Fortunately there are natural home remedies for chigger bites which stop itching and prevent it from spreading.
So What are chigger bites? when these small creatures spit on your skin it causes a reaction and severe itching. The urge to itch remains constant until the venom is neutralized.
Chiggers are also known as berry bugs because they are mostly found on berries. They fall under the categories of mites similar to flea, head lice and bed bugs. After chigger bite attack you will start to feel the symptoms in less than one hour. Most common symptoms of chigger bites are constant itching, rashes, redness, inflammation, and small red bumps.
How To Identify Chigger Bites
The most difficult part of this itching skin condition is that, people are not able to identify chigger bites. Identifying chigger bites can solve half the problem as you might think it as bug bite or fleas bite. You need to look for these signs to identify this microscopic insect bites.
- Once you are bitten by chiggers, you may start to feel the urge to itch the affected area.
- Small red bumps will start to appear.
- Sometimes people also suffer from skin rashes similar to stress hives, ant bites, and bed bug bite.
- Inflammation and redness of skin.
- Small red blood dot.
Home remedies for chigger bites will be able to help you with these symptoms. Most of the ingredients used in remedies are natural and next to no side-effects until you are allergic.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar To Treat Chigger Bites
Apple cider vinegar is popular for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It is widely used to cure chigger bites at home. Its anti-itching properties soothe your skin and reduce itching and provide relief from swelling. People have been using ACV as natural disinfectant to speed up the healing process.
- First of all wash the affected area with lukewarm water.
- Soak a cotton ball in pure organic apple cider vinegar.
- Dab it several times on bitten spot.
- Try to clean any blood spot and keep it for 15 minutes.
- If you have sensitive skin then dilute ACV with equal amount of water.
- Now rinse the red skin bumps with this solution.
- Use this remedy several times in a day.
2. Taking Hot Shower Can Reduce Itching
If you have multiple chigger bites then taking hot shower will make them go away. Warm water also increase the blood circulation which will bring the white blood cells to fight back any infection. Hot shower is one of the most common home remedy for chigger bites because, it not just prevent severe itching, but also soothe irritated skin.
Allergic patients can benefit from hot shower by minimizing the risk of muscle sprain. These small insects some times carry pathogens which can paralyze your skin cells. Warmness can prevent those pathogen from affecting your body.
- Allow warm water to run through your body for several minutes.
- Now rub antibacterial soap to prevent bacterial infection.
- Leather properly and pat dry yourself.
- It also help with rashes and skin inflammation.
- Take two shower a day to speed up the healing process.
Topical use of oatmeal is an effective home remedy for itching chigger bites. It works as alkalizing agent that is essential to neutralize acid. Oatmeal help with chigger bite and can soothe itchiness during the early stage of venom reaction.
When used as mask, it has soaking properties which can suck out the chigger poison from under your skin and promote fast healing.
- Take one tablespoon of colloidal oatmeal and mix equal amount of rosewater.
- Apply a thick layer on affected area and keep it on for 1 hour.
- Alternatively, if you are suffering from multiple bites then take a soaking bath.
- Mix 2 cups of colloidal oatmeal in half filled bath tub.
- Soak your body for 20 minutes then take hot shower.
- Use this remedy several times in a week to treat chigger bites fast.
4. Tea Bags To Soothe Itching Caused By Chigger Bites
So many times people report of developing infection after being bitten by small insects. Tea contains tannin which is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. Using tea bag on the affected area can provide relief from itching and prevent infection. Due to its healing properties, tea bags are one of the best home remedy for chigger bites.
It is also used to cure infection under the skin. Insects tend to leave their sting after biting which can aggravate the symptoms. Tea bags are helpful in reducing those effects by softening the skin and help remove broken chigger sting under skin.
- It is best to pick black tea as it contains high amount of tannin.
- Take one cup of boiling water and put 1 tea bag.
- Allow it to steep for 5 minutes then squeeze out the excessive water.
- Use the tea liquid to wash the infected area.
- Put the tea bag on affected skin where red bumps or rashes occurred.
- Allow it to sit there for several minutes.
- Use this home remedy 2 times in a day for fast recovery.
Thanks to antiseptic properties, turmeric is one of the most effective home remedy for infected chigger bites. It contains a yellow substance called Curcumin that is essential for yellow color and medicinal benefits. Treating infectious insect bites is one of the many health benefits of turmeric.
Curcumin is also antiseptic and soothe itching and reduces inflammation of skin. People have been using turmeric paste on open wounds to prevent infection. It provide a protective layer that keeps those pathogens away from the flesh.
- Take 1/4 cup of warm water and mix 2 tablespoon of turmeric powder.
- Mix them together and soak a cotton swab in this semi-thick solution.
- Apply this turmeric bandage on chigger bites and seal it with duct tape.
- Keep it on for 2-3 hours then rinse with water.
- Note: Curcumin leaves temporary yellow stains.
- Use this remedy two times in a day to heal those bites faster.
6. Cold Compress
Cold compress is another effective home remedy for chigger bites itching. It provide coolness to the affected skin and ease the discomfort caused by venom reaction. Cold compress also reduce the nerve reflex and prevent the urge of constant itching.
- For quick relief, apply ice cubes directly on rashes and swollen skin.
- Alternatively, soak a cottona cloth in very chilled water.
- Wring out excessive water and cover the bitten area with the cold compress.
- Repeat it several times to speed up the healing speed.
7. Use Baking Soda
Baking soda has antiseptic and anti-itching properties that help get rid of itching as well as infection and swelling.
- Prepare a homemade anti-itching cream for chigger bites with the help of baking soda.
- To make the cream, mix liberal amount of water with 2 tablespoon of baking soda to make the paste.
- Apply a thick layer of this cream on swollen skin area.
- Keep it on for 30 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water.
- Alternatively, mix 1 cup of baking soda in fully filled bath tub.
- Soak your body in this tub for 20 minutes then take a fresh shower.
- Use this remedy for several day to get rid of itching and irritation caused by chigger biting.
8. Vicks Vapor Rub For Chigger Bites
It is a common medicine which contains extracts of menthol and has soothing effect on itching chigger bites. This vapor rub is beneficial for eliminating some common symptoms such as pain and swelling.
It has cooling effect which numbs the nerve and slow down the painful signal. It reduces the intensity of itching to a great extent and provide fast relief.
- After taking hot shower dry yourself completely.
- Now rub some vicks vapor rub on itching red bumps.
- Leave it on for several minutes.
- Use this remedy several times in a day to heal faster.
9. Indian Lilac
Some chiggers carry infectious pathogens and Indian lilac may act as an excellent home remedy for infected chigger bites. Studies have shown that, this herbal tree which is native to South India has antibacterial, anti-irritating, and antiseptic properties. It has long history in Ayurvedic medicine for infection.
- Pour one cup of water in a saucepan.
- Bring water to boil and add half cup of Indian lilac tree leaves.
- Let it simmer for 10 minutes then strain and collect the water and leaves separatly.
- Rinse the infected area with this water.
- Crush those boiled leaves to make a thick paste.
- Apply a thick layer of this herbal cream on chigger bites.
- Leave it on for 1 hour then wash it off with warm water.
- Use this remedy several times in a day to increase the healing speed.
10. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent remedy to calm itching chigger bites and alleviate pain. When you apply it on the skin, it start to evaporate instantly which creates a cooling sensation. This sudden flow of coolness suppress the urge of itching and help you feel better.
- First of all wash the bitten spot with lukewarm water.
- Now soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and apply it directly on red skin bumps caused by chigger stings.
- Leave it until it gets dry.
- Repeat this process several times in a day or when ever your lesion feel itchy.
- Use this remedy for several days until your condition improves.
11. Olive Essential Oil
Olive oil is powerhouse for skin nourishing properties. It help calm down irritation from biting and help you fight back swelling of skin caused by chigger bites.
Olive is an amazing source of vitamin E and anti-itching agent that reduces itching and soothe irritated skin. It can help the process of skin cell regeneration.
How to use olive essential oil for chigger bites
- For fast relief, apply virgin olive oil on affected area and repeat it several times in a day.
- Alternatively, mix equal amount of olive oil and coconut essential oil.
- Cool down this oil blend and apply it on the skin where itchiness is high.
- Keep it on for several minutes then wipe it off with tissue paper.
- You can replace the oil blend with olive oil and honey mixture.
- If the sting caused an infected then mix 3-5 drops of tea tree oil in one tablespoon of olive oil.
- Use this remedy several times in a week to speed up the healing process.
Chamomile is a flowering plant with potent medicinal values. The anti-viral and antibacterial properties of chamomile can help cure chigger bites at home. It may not be a suitable remedy for sensitive skin people. However, this herb is one of the best Ayurvedic medicine for insect bite infection.
Drinking chamomile tea will boost your immune that is essential for improving healing speed from inside. It will break down bacterial colonies and flush out toxins from our body.
- Put one chamomile tea bag in a cup and pour boiling water.
- Let it steep for 5 minutes then take out the tea bag.
- Allow the water to cool down and rinse your infection.
- Put the chamomile tea bag on bitten area for 10 minutes.
- Repeat this remedy 2-3 times in a day until your symptoms goes away.
13. Aloe Vera
The skin soothing properties of aloe vera makes it an effective natural cure for chigger bites. It contains natural enzymes that calms down irritated skin and soothe them with healing properties to make recovery faster. People suffering from swelling, pain, redness and itch can use this herbal pant to eliminate all symptoms of chigger bite.
- Put one aleo vera leaf in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Now, cut it open and collect the gel in a fresh bowl.
- Apply the aloe vera gel directly on affected area.
- Put a duct tape and seal it for 2 hours.
- Repeat this remedy twice in a day to suppress constant itching.
14. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is powerful antiseptic which can kill wide range of pathogens. Applying it directly on skin can do more harm than good, so it is wise to make a anti-itch spray at home. One can use it to spray on itching skin and forget about it for all day long.
- 10 drops of tea tree oil
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 tablespoon of coconut oil
How to make it:
- Put all the ingredients in a small air tight bottle.
- Shake them for a while so that all the essential oils blend together.
- Now put it in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Fix a spray on the top of that bottle and you are ready to go.
- Spray three times in a day and make sure to give at-least 3 hours of gap between each spray.
15. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt is another useful remedy for a chigger bite. Its anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory properties soothe the skin, relieve itching, reduce swelling and promote healing.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in one cup of water.
- Dissolve it properly and soak a cotton ball.
- Apply it directly on skin where chigger stung you.
- Let it dry completely.
- Use this cure 2 times daily for several weeks.
Why Nail Polish on Chigger Bites Won’t Work
Nail polish prevents you from scratching the chigger bites but it does not reduce its symptoms. It provide a coating on the affected area which creates coolness for short interval of time but the itching will come back. Some nail polish even contains skin harming chemicals which can make your chigger bites worse.
Use ice cubes instead of nail polish to control itching. It is repeatable and safe to use with no side effects.
Removing nail polish is going to cause more irritation and may increase the intensity of itchiness. It may increase the risk of infection, so avoid using nail polish on any insect bite to prevent them from getting worse.
Chigger Bites vs Bed Bug Bites
Chigger bites cause itchy lesions which does not go away easily. They are in larva form which only feeds on human. There bites are painless but becomes itchy and irritating after several hours.
On the other hand, bed bugs bite in the night and can give you a very hard time while sleeping. Bed bugs pierce human skin with elongated beaks through which they extract blood.
Both of them feed on blood, however, chiggers are mostly found in rural areas where there is plenty of vegetation. Bed bugs are common in urban areas.
Allergic Reaction To Chigger Bites
Typically these small insect carry venom which can cause severe reaction with the internal dermis. People with sensitive skin are at higher risk of developing allergic reaction from chigger bite. Not just that, many people are allergic to chiggers and they don’t know it because it is hard to identity its bite.
- Mild fever
- Episodes of recurring headache
- Shortness of breath
- Inflammation of lymph nodes
- Joint pain
- Drainage of pus from the bites
How Long Do Chigger Bites Last
It takes up-to 4 weeks for a chigger bite to heal. Most people with proper care can cure chigger bites in 1 week. Intense itching will fade away within the first few days after using home remedies. Rashes and redness will start to vanish and complete recovery can be expected with in 4 weeks.
Try using some over the counter ointments on chigger bite to speed up the healing process. These ointments provide cooling sensation and reduce itching faster.
If your chigger bites are lasting months then consult with a doctor. You might have suffered from an allergic reaction which is preventing your wound from healing.
How To Prevent Chigger Bites
- Take extra precaution while plucking berries to avoid chigger bites during summer.
- Make sure not to rub against vegetation while hiking.
- Use Listerine mouthwash to deal with itching.
- Wear long sleeves dress while going out in woods.
- Learn to control the urge of itching to prevent infection.
- You can use mosquito repellent to avoid chigger bites
- Apply calamine lotion for chigger bites, it will reduce redness of skin.
- Spread insecticides in your lawns, backyards and garden.
Natural treatment for chigger bites are helpful in controlling the itching and inflammation of skin. It also provide relief from pain and reduces the size of skin bumps caused from chigger venom.