I REALLY can not express enough the absolutely unnecessary existence of mother freaking chiggers. This past weekend while exploring White Rock Lake my Fiancé and I got covered in chiggers. We had no idea at the time of course these microscopic death monsters attached themselves to our clothes and shoes and drilled holes into our skin.
A brief over view of how chiggers work. They have a small antenna like drill on their heads and they drill small holes everywhere they can in your skin. They are very weak so they use the elastic in your underwear, bra, pants and shirts to hold on-to while they go to town. They often wedge themselves into creases in your armpit skin, butt, legs, back of your knees etc, and go to work. It takes 3-6 hours for higher bites to begin to itch and by that point they’ve already left you and moved on to their next victim.
Our mistake: not showering after the park. If you are outside and suspect chiggers may have been around it is best to take a hot shower and scrub your skin. The weak chigger can’t hold on and will fall off before the damage is done. If you don’t shower however like we didn’t then you will fall victim to chigger bites.
When chiggers drill in to you they eat the decaying skin they drilled and then spit into it. This spit is where the itch comes from. Most people believe that nail polish is needed to suffocate the chigger but actually the chigger is already gone and all that nail polish is doing is creating a seal over the bite so now cortisone and other anti itch creams won’t soak in.
Here are the remedies that we tried this week. The ones that worked and that didn’t. We researched constantly trying to relief the itch that kept us both up at night.
First: DO NOT ITCH THEM, if you do it’ll create an infection when you break the skin and irritate it. LEAVE THEM ALONE and the bite will heal faster, I promise. If you refrain from itching it will be 2 full days of awful itching but by the 3rd day you’ll start to feel peace again as it’s just a dull itch and not such a huge uncomfortable distraction.
Cortisone: may not relive the itch completely but will help you heal.
Bleach bath? Nope didn’t work.
Aveno Oatmeal Bath-yes relief not complete relief but it didn’t soothe the itch and helped the healing process.
Aveno Lotion that comes with Oatmeal- helped the most with the itch.
Aloe Vera Plant Goop– did not stop the itch but sped up healing process, very good for your skin.
The itch can keep you up so I recommend taking Benadryl to sleep. I would take 2 to sleep for 4 hours and then wake up itching and take 2 more to get through the night.
I advise Cortisone first then Pink Aveno Lotion on top. This combo seemed to work best for me.
It has officially been one week today and my bites have gone down completley. I still have tiny red bumps that itch very occassionally but I just apply a little cortison and it goes away.
By day 4 I would say the itching was all gone, just a slight itch every once in a while. That is 100% because of not itching them and the constant reapplication of medicine. Whatever method you choose will have helpful healing properties and anecdotes to help your skin enzymes replenish themselves.
Good luck, hang in there, it will end!