Chiggers are pesky mites that are really part of the arachnid family. The bugs are so tiny, they can’t really be seen, but the bites they leave behind can drive a person crazy. Chiggers are most active in late spring, summer and early fall and tend to like moist, grassy areas.
Once a chigger bite appears, it can take up to a week to heal and go away. Fortunately, these bites don’t pose any health risk other than causing an individual to scratch madly. Here are 5+ ways to help calm the itch if you find yourself suffering from chigger bites.
1. Cool compress. One of the best things you can do, according to Medicinenet, is to use a cool compress on the bites. Be sure to keep it cool. Heat will just exacerbate the bites.
2. Ice. Healthline goes a step farther than just the compress, suggesting ice. Again, the cold is the key. Reusable ice packs are great or a bag of frozen vegetables will work.
3. Wash. As soon as you notice the bites, WebMD recommends taking a cool shower and thoroughly washing your body with soap and water. This will ensure that any remaining chiggers get removed. Keep the shower cool so as not to inflame the bites.
4. Colloidal oatmeal. If a shower is too short, Medicinenet says you can try a cool bath. Adding colloidal oatmeal will help soothe the bites. Add 1 cup of finely ground oatmeal to the bath.
5. Hydrocortisone cream. Of course, you can’t spend all day in the tub, so Healthline suggests using hydrocortisone cream for the day. You can purchase this at any pharmacy.
6. Baking soda paste. If you want to go “all natural,” Dr. Axe suggests making a baking soda paste. The paste is made from equal parts baking soda and water. Spread the paste on the bites and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
7. Calamine lotion. For those who have calamine lotion handy, Healthline shares that this old-time remedy helps calm the rash. Its only drawback is that it’s pink.
8. Clean clothes. WebMD reminds people that if you’ve gotten chigger bites, you need to wash your clothes thoroughly in hot water. That way any chiggers that may have been carried in on them are killed.
You may not be able to completely ensure you never get bitten by chiggers, so when it happens, having a remedy to help soothe the bite may be a sanity saver.