Tales from the Walk-In Clinic: Chiggers

Tales from the Walk-In Clinic: Chiggers

Tales from the Walk-In Clinic: Chiggers

Chiggers. It’s not one of the most commonly-used words in the English language (and in some parts of the country, it’s not used at all). However, the experts at our Walk-In Clinic hear this word often–and today, they’re going to provide a little information about chiggers.

What is a Chigger?

Chiggers are mite larvae–which means that they are the small but mostly-formed juvenile versions of adult mites. Like spiders, they are arachnids that can be found all over the world; however, unlike spiders, they are usually only visible under a microscope–which makes them all the more unsettling and difficult to recognize. Ironically enough, these young mites are actually only a threat in chigger form, because their adult counterparts are harmless. While juvenile, however, the mites will not hesitate to bite humans–which is why our Walk-In Clinic experts have compiled the information you need to know about chiggers.

Chigger Facts

Here’s a quick look at some chigger facts!

  • Bites. Contrary to popular belief, chiggers don’t actually burrow into the skin and stay there. Instead, they inject enzymes that harden the skin, thus creating a “feeding tube” which they use to eat destroyed tissue. Bites occur most frequently on thin skin and areas of wrinkles or folds.
  • Symptoms. While chiggers themselves can be hard to notice, their bites certainly aren’t. While the initial bite doesn’t cause symptoms, it is common for itching, redness, and skin lesions to occur only an hour afterwards. Symptoms can last up to two weeks.
  • Treatment. Treatment for chigger bites must be based on relieving the symptoms and treating the bite itself, rather than trying to remove the chigger–because, as our myth-busting has proved, the chigger is not buried in the skin. This means that cool baths or showers, cool compresses, and corticosteroid creams will work the best.

Interested in more info on chiggers? Looking for a Walk-In Clinic? Contact us today!

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