Put some hand sanitizer on the bites. The type I used is 60% alcohol, and it relieves the itch without stinging. It is also anti-bacterial so it will help to prevent infection.
I work outdoors and have had countless episodes of chigger bites. I bought everything Wal-Mart and CVS Pharmacy recommended with not much luck.
After advice from my beautiful wife, I hop up on the edge of the tub, wet down my legs and ankles with warm water, then rub unseasoned meat tenderizer VERY, VERY GENTLY onto my ankles and legs where the bites are. Leave there about five minutes and rinse off with warm water. Take a Benadryl and you're set for the night and can actually sleep!
Recap: Benadryl and meat tenderizer - that's it!
Okay, this works:
First of all, there are myriad myths about these little buggers. They don't burrow, and any chiggers on your skin will be washed away by a vigorous bath...so the nail polish-type remedies are likely placebo in effect.
As many have mentioned, DEET is the pre-eminent solution. It WILL keep them away. Other repellants, such as sulpher 'may' be effective. I haven't tried them. Tucking pants into socks, wearing light-colored clothing etc, all help. Avoiding tall grass, moist areas and so on...all good ideas.
What if you've found yourself in a likely area without some form of protection? Chiggers are far more fragile than their agonizing after-effects would suggest. The key to defence though, is that they don't bite immediately. Some sources indicate they may take 1/2 hour or more to dig in and feast. The longer they are left in place, the worse the symptoms.
So, simply RUB them off. A vigorous rub-down of areas likely to be infested (legs, arms, etc) is very effective. Every 20 minutes or so, briskly rub those areas known to have contacted vegetation, but especially feet, legs and arms. The ones you don't kill (most) will be rubbed off. Whever I remember to do this, I don't get bitten...or get very few bites.
As soon as possible, bathe; soap and hot water. You'll kill or wash away any left on your body...hopefully before they've had lunch (you).
Too late: You feel the itch, see the bumps? Bathe anyway. It takes hours for the symptoms to appear, so you likely won't kill any of them. They're gone...but you might get a few.
The real value is the heat...we're talking histomines, the compounds in the skin that transmit the feeling of itching. Heat activates them. Your body can only produce so much histamine over a period of time, so a REALLY hot shower depletes the histamine level and will give a period of relief.
Then take a couple of benadryl (ANTI-histamine...get it?). Finally, rub some topical creme over the affected area...lots of it. Rub hard! It's almost like scratching, but beneficial. I've found anything containing hydrocortisone to be effective, but others prefer dedicated anti-itch products (which contain anaesthetics). The hydrocortisone is more effective in reducing the swelling.
Go to sleep! (Yes, you'll be able to...). The affected areas will be tender--after all, you've been punctured and injected with a foreign substance, maybe hundreds of times--and may itch a bit, but it will be bearable. When you get up, take another benadryl.
I got an infestation that was one big, raw, hamburger-looking welt from my knees to my armpits--much more severe than any picture I've ever seen. It took a while, but daily HC creme, and benadryl morning & night made it possible to live a normal life in that condition. If the itch got bad, I simply jumped in the shower and parbroiled myself again.
(I like hot showers, but I'm talking really hot. Turn the water as hot as you can stand it, play the stream over the affected area...then turn it up some more...it's much better than scratching.)
I live in North Central Texas and chiggers like me alot. I have tried bleach in the bath water, fingernail polish, etc and what works for me to relieve the itch is Vick's vapor rub. If you apply after a good hot bath, you can really feel the menthol working and my itching is relieved. If I know I am going to be in tall weeds or just working in the yard; I will spray my pants and legs with a DEET based repellant. GOOD LUCK
I find the best remedy is to clean the red spot with alcohol and then put a small piece of adhesive tape on it. Leave the tape on for 24 hours. When you remove the tape you can see the chigger stuck to the tape with a magnifying glass.
The best remedy I have found for chigger bites is to cover the red spot with a small piece of adhesive tape. It helps to clean the spot with alcohol first. The tape sticks better. The itching stops immediately. Leave the tape on for 24 hours. When you remove the tape, examine it with a magnifying glass. You will see the chigger attached to the tape. I live in Texas and we have plenty of them.
If you put clear nail polish over the bite it will smutther them. It know it works because my neighbors have gone down to Tennesse for the past 3 years and they have also gotten them.
I needed to find a fast cure for my chigger bites today, because I am very sensitive and these itchy pests kept me up all last night & feeling miserable! I experimented with a couple new items. The first was 'Murad's Clarifying Mask 4% Sulfur Acne Treatment.' It definitely cooled down the itch and reminded my of the old Noxzema cream.I didn't leave it on long, because I didn't want it to get on my clothing, but it does dry, so you could wear something old over this. The next thing I tried was the original 'Tiger Balm.' I used it before my desperate needed nap and I drifted off to sleep, feeling like I was at a day spa! My husband applied on me a couple layers of it and rubbed it in for about 1 1/2 minutes. Then I put an old shirt on, to prevent staining sheets. There was a cooling/warming sensation and no sting.Both of these were such a relief to find!! Give them a try!
The Ultimate Chigger Bite Relief Formula – A More Effective Formula
The effectiveness seems to vary with the age of the product and the time when it is applied after the itching begins. The sooner the treatment is applied to the sooner the itch can be controlled. The longer between applications of the treatment after the itch is noticed, the longer it takes for the treatment to have lasting effectiveness.
• From the local supermarket, one container of meat tenderizer with the Enzyme Bromelain or Papain found in the ingredients listing.
• 1 oz bottle of Tea Tree oil from Wal-Mart, in the pharmacy section. This oil is a great healer and helps to prevent infection.
• Cayenne pepper; a small amount may added if desired.
1. Mix as much meat tenderizer as desired with Tea Tree oil until a slightly semi-mushy mix is formed.
2. Apply directly to the bite with fingers.
3. Rub in hard for a few seconds. The abrasion affect seems to help break down the chiggers spit and neutralizes it faster.
The meat tenderizer can also be used alone, right from the container.
1. For easy access, remove the shaker top.
2. Moisten the fingers first.
3. Then place a pinch of tenderizer right on the bit and rub it in.
4. Let the formula dry.
5. Reapply as needed. Most applications, when applied early, cure the itch permanently.
Warning and Caution
When applying any formula with Cayenne included, avoid touching the eyes, inside of the nose, genital area and the butt crack. WASH your hands immediately if not sooner after applying the formula if you got any at all on the hands. If any of these areas become contaminated, apply olive or some other vegetable oil to the area to dilute the Cayenne. WATER WILL NOT WORK!
The Ultimate Chigger Bite Relief Formula
Actually there are two formulas. Both enzymes can be readily found at the local supermarket and are inexpensive.
• 1 oz bottle of Tea Tree oil--Can be found at the local Wal-Mart Store in the pharmacy section and is one the best grades available and other brands can also be found at most health food stores.
• ½ teaspoon dish washing liquid--allows emulsification of the juice and oil
• ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
• 2 oz fresh pineapple juice.
1. Mix pineapple juice with dish washing liquid
2. Add Tea Tree oil
3. Mix thoroughly
4. Add ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne contains a strong pain blocking substance that also helps to relieve the itch
5. Mix well
6. Apply to bites directly with q-tip at first indication of itching
A slight burning may occur that will subside in a few seconds
7. Reapply as often as needed
WARNING: DO NOT LET THIS MIX GET INTO or AROUND the EYES