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The Complete Guide to Treating and Identifying Chigger Bites

If you’re wondering how to go about identifying chigger bites or even how to get rid of chigger bites, you’re in the right place. 

Chiggers are tiny mites that are found in outdoor areas, particularly in humid climates. While they don’t pose a serious health risk, their bites can cause intense itching and discomfort for several days.

In this guide, American Family Care (AFC) will discuss how to identify chigger bites and distinguish them from other bug bites, as well as provide tips for preventing chigger bites in the first place. We’ll also cover the best remedies for chigger bites.

Identifying Chigger Bites


Chigger bites are caused by the larvae of chigger mites. The bites of the larvae induce significant irritation and inflammation of the skin. Here’s what you need to know to identify chigger bites:


  • Symptoms: Chigger bites typically cause intense itching, red bumps or welts, and sometimes a raised blister or pimple. Itching typically begins within hours after a bite. The itching can be severe and may last for several days. The lesions usually heal within one to two weeks. Occasionally, the bumps and itching may persist for weeks. 
  • Comparison to other bug bites: Chigger bites can be easily confused with other bug bites. Chigger bites are typically grouped together in clusters and, most often, are found on the legs and waistline. 
  • Location on the body: You’ll typically find chigger bites in areas where clothing fits tightly against the skin, such as around the waist, ankles, or armpits. They may also be found in areas of the body where the skin is thinner and more tender, such as behind the knees or in the groin area.


While chigger bites are typically not serious, if you experience severe itching, pain, or fever, or if the bite becomes infected, seek medical attention.

Chigger Bites Treatment


Chigger bites can be uncomfortable, but fortunately, they are usually not serious, and symptoms can be treated effectively with a variety of remedies. Treatment is aimed at managing symptoms. Here are some treatment options for chigger bites:

  • Home remedies: There are several home remedies that may help alleviate chigger bite symptoms, including taking a cool bath or applying a cold compress to the affected area.
  • Over-the-counter treatments: Calamine lotion can be applied topically to reduce itching. Topical corticosteroids, such as hydrocortisone cream, may help with itching and inflammation. Oral antihistamines, such as Benadryl, can also help relieve itching. 

While it may be tempting to scratch chigger bites, this can worsen symptoms and increase the risk of infection. Treating symptoms associated with chigger bites can help reduce discomfort. 

Clothing worn during exposure to the mites should be washed in hot water. 

How to Prevent Chigger Bites


There are some preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of getting chigger bites. Here are some ways to prevent them:

  • Wear protective clothing: When spending time outdoors, wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants, and tuck pants into socks or boots. This creates a barrier between your skin and chiggers and makes it harder for them to bite you.
  • Use insect repellent: Insect repellants, including DEET and dimethyl phthalate, are effective in repelling chiggers when applied to skin and clothing.
  • Avoid heavily infested areas: Avoid outdoor activities in grassy and wooded areas near water, especially in the summer when it is warm outside. 
  • Shower after spending time outdoors: Taking a shower as soon as possible after being outdoors can help remove any chiggers that may be on your skin before they have a chance to bite.

By taking these steps to prevent chigger bites, you can enjoy spending time outdoors without worrying about the discomfort of getting bitten.

Got Chigger Bites? Head to American Family Care for a Range of Non-Urgent and Urgent Care Health Needs


AFC provides fast, affordable, and high-quality care for a wide range of medical needs, including bug bites.

Our experienced healthcare providers can help you identify and treat chigger bites, as well as provide relief from symptoms such as itching and pain. We offer a variety of treatment options, from over-the-counter remedies to prescription medication, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

At AFC, we understand that medical issues don’t always occur during regular business hours. That’s why we’re open seven days a week with extended hours, so you can receive the care you need from a dedicated staff when you need it. Plus, we accept most insurance plans and offer self-pay options for those without insurance.

If you’re dealing with chigger bites and need medical attention, don’t wait – head to AFC today for quick medical services!

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