Patient Comments: Chiggers - Symptoms and Signs

Question:

What were the symptoms and signs of your chigger bites? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: linhutch, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 01

I spent a lovely night observing annual meteor showers in a dark state park, lying on a blanket with a plastic bottom and felt top. I 'felt' safe (pun intended), but the next day I had 100s of small red bites on both arms and legs! Mom's warning from decades ago and the word 'chiggers' came to mind and homeopathic Ledum 200 c came to the rescue. It solved the itching and bites within days, without bleeding or scarring, thankfully! I later learned that night was ideal temperature and location for them.

Comment from: Mblock, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

I was bitten over 50 times throughout the night by a chigger on my legs, groin and waist almost 5 months ago. I went to the doctor several times, was given steroid pills, antibiotics, and steroid ointment which I still apply to this day at least twice a day. Many of the bites are not healing and still get inflamed. I sleep with several ice packs through the night. I even had a biopsy of one of the bites, report came back, and dermatologist said I was hypersensitive. No doctor has helped!

Comment from: Tina, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

Chigger bites caused a cluster of tiny blood spots on the back of my shirt by the bra strap and my upper back shoulders.

Comment from: anissac72, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 04

I'm infested with chiggers all over my house! I don’t know how to get them out of my clothes, my towels, my washcloths, and my bedding. They were in my bed until I put zippered bed protectors on my mattress and box springs. They're driving me nuts eating me alive that's what it feels like (I thought I had lice or bed bugs). I'm sick with enlarged lymph nodes and aching all over.

Comment from: Joy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I have been so stressed, frustrated, and very embarrassed of the appearance of the chigger bites. What’s worse is the constant horrible scratching turning into sores all over arms legs, belly, and neck. The itching just gets worse. It must stop!

Comment from: Madaysia 13, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

Oh my goodness! My heart goes out to you. You explained so eloquently, exactly how I am feeling. I thought my new Siamese cat had fleas, but no. The exterminator can't identify the vermin that attack, mainly my face and genitals. They hurt so bad when they bite. They seem to hang between my sheets and come out at night. I am tired of being judged as a crazy old lady! Chiggers never occurred to me until I read your post. Thank you!

Comment from: julie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 09

I have got 19 chigger bites and the redness and itching aren’t getting any better. Surely there is something that can help all us people suffering! Come on doctors, help us with a remedy please.

Comment from: Chas, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: December 18

In July this year I got bitten by several chiggers, which seemed to heal up as they naturally do. However, recently one of them on my left leg a couple weeks ago developed a hive on the skin area of the bite and again this morning. I’m not sure of the reason for this and what to do about it. It goes away after an hour or so.

Comment from: Natmn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

The chigger bites caused excessive itching and clusters of red bumps that looked like a blister on the top.

Comment from: Kimberly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I was feeling very short of breath and went to the emergency room, ended up there for a week and they found liver cirrhosis. I was sent to a transplant specialist and began the process of getting on the list. In the meantime my life is completely different. The tired shaky feeling never goes away, the medicines keep me on the toilet all the time, and the diuretics and lactulose make it difficult to leave the house. Also my lack of mental clarity and feeling tired keeps me in bed a lot. I have lost the ability to walk without a cane and am not able to enjoy the things I used to do, like garden, fish and drive myself. I am totally disabled and need a care provider but for now use a walker during the day when my partner is at work.

Comment from: conchs82, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

Two days after I walked I noticed intense itching and the chigger bites surfaced. I put on cortisone cream, Caladryl (clear calamine lotion) and took some Benadryl in the evening for the first two nights. But it got worse and began to hurt all day, so toward the end of the week I alternated Naprosyn every 4 hours with Benadryl 25 mg every four hours. The itching went beyond itching to pain. I am in day 5 now. Chiggers are no joke!

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Chiggers (Bites) Symptoms, Pictures, Home Remedies, Medicine, and Cure See a medical illustration of chiggers plus our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology See Images
Comment from: Spartacus!, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 28

At Long Island, NY I let my grass get too long around my pool filter and must have picked up chiggers while servicing the filter. The rash and other symptoms started at my ankles and have worked their way up my legs to my waistband. The itching is insane! Especially at night. As others have said, I'm surprised I have any skin left. I shower regularly and I was prescribed an ointment for the itch, but this has gone on for about 2 months now and spread up my legs to my waist over that time. The worst spots as described, are the ankles, behind the knees, inner thighs, and a couple on my forearms. I've never experienced anything like this in my life. I'm more relieved since reading about chiggers but I'm still concerned that after 2 months I am still suffering greatly every night!

Comment from: JG0121, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

One evening I had a long sleeve shirt on and it kept itching in my forearm. It felt like a plastic tag would feel if it were still in the shirt. It irritated me so much I changed my shirt. But I also noticed when the shirt rolled over the skin it tingled. The next morning I woke to a single jolt in my forearm. My shoulder blade started having tingly skin with random nerve jolts. For 2 or 3 days I didn't say a thing but I had a good idea what was going on. My shoulder is now a 4 inch patch and I have 3 small patches down my arm. I had to remove my wedding ring because my finger has a spot too. I have not suffered any other symptoms except a headache the night before all this started. I am not in any pain yet. Skin feels very different along the nerve path of the lesions but so far so good. I was put on acyclovir 5 times/day for 10 days. I was absolutely not surprised I got shingles. I have asked my primary care doctor about the shot for years now. He's awesome but he would chuckle and say I am too young for the shot and ask me what makes me think I will get shingles. I have suffered with cold sores on my left lip since I was 4. I'm good for 3 plus nasty ones a year. These shingles are also on my left side. Coincidence! I don't know what path these will take, 10 to 14 days of pain and then gone, or months of agony; but I wish anyone who gets them wellness. Take care of yourself and know your body. If something doesn't feel right and you can't explain why see the doctor fast.

Comment from: rob, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 05

I broke my index finger 2 months ago at work. I was thinking it was only a bruise but it never would heal and was always sensitive to touch. I was thinking I was hitting it and reinjuring it. I finally went to the doctor and it was a minor fracture in the farthest bone in my index finger. I am in a small aluminum cast to protect it and will see him again in three weeks. Hopefully it will not be irritated and will heal.

Comment from: LT3, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 22

I have tiny bites on my feet. I went shopping at a questionable store. I should not have removed my shoes! The discount was not worth the price I am paying now! The chigger bites are starting to spread. The itching is intense. Since I am a 'picker', I cannot leave them alone. Must go to the drugstore and get relief! I have heard Iodine works for these bites. Will try anything.

Comment from: kjkrunner, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 09

I had intense itching like nothing I've ever experienced. It was 35 days ago that I got the chigger bites and I still have noticeable red welts on my leg that itch occasionally. I am not sure where I got them, but the itching started a day after I was fishing at a lake, so that must have been it. I can't believe how long it is taking them to clear up.

Comment from: suef, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I was recently bitten by about 50 chiggers when I was knocked over onto the ground by my dog. I was not able to get up due to a broken arm when that happened. I was trapped on the ground for about 2 hours before my neighbors heard my cries for help. The chigger bites itched like crazy. It is now 5 months and I still have chigger bite scars on my legs and arms. Also some of them still itch like crazy, especially at night. I have found alcohol the best for relieving itch after it is open. I don’t wish this on anyone.

Comment from: Garett, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I got chiggers on my right ankle while pushing my way through a thicket to clear it for deer season. This was about 2 months ago maybe a little longer. At first they were just on my right ankle then on my left ankle and after that I had them everywhere but the unmentionables. They itched like fire, I tried everything but nothing worked. Eventually they all went away but not from my right ankle. The initial swelled up bites went down but left little scars but now every couple days, sometimes every couple hours, the first infected spot still itches so much it’s like having them over again every time. Nothing makes this go away at all. Every time I scratch them they raise back up and leave more scars; how do you make these go away!

Comment from: CD, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 29

I did some work in my yard on Saturday. It was Monday while I was at work that I started itching a lot and all over. Tuesday I woke up itching and with bumps so at first I assumed I had poison ivy (which I have had several times in my life). But by Wednesday spots were still popping up and was extremely itchy. The calamine and hydrocortisone was only slight relief. By Thursday it still had not started drying up and got worse. So today, (Friday) still thinking poison ivy I went to the doctor who immediately told me it was not poison Ivy and sent me straight to the dermatologist who confirmed chiggers. He prescribed me prednisone (a steroid). He said that over the counter hydrocortisone cream is for things like ant and mosquito bites and is not sufficient for chiggers or even any of the poison leaves such as Ivy, oak, or sumac, and calamine lotion is a drying medication that is pretty much just for oozing blister such as poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac that you just want to dry up and not let the oozing spread. All that being said, from now on I will skip the lotions and crèmes and the doctor and go straight to the dermatologist.

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Bad Bugs: Identify Insects and Bug Bites See Slideshow
Comment from: KT, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 18

I had no clue why I was itching unbearably, I couldn't sleep! I had welts all over my body, mostly concentrated on my feet, legs and groin area, with a few on my arms and armpits. Some became pus filled and crusty. Nasty enough for me to check in to the local dermatologist, who prescribed clobetasol and an antihistamine to help me sleep. An hour after applying clobetasol, I don't really feel like it's helped much, but it's not worse, perhaps a little better. Prior to the medicine, I was using over the counter cortisone cream which worked ok, as well as aloe gel, which worked pretty well (maybe because it had alcohol in it). I’m glad it's just chiggers, but yow, this itching is horrible!

Comment from: Unknown, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: October 15

My ankles had red hard stubs on them but ice helps if you have any chigger bites; they are also small unlike mosquito bites. Also nail polish helps get the infection out.

Comment from: Grandpock, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

My symptoms of chigger bites were extreme itching and burning sensations that lead to enormous blisters and extreme discomfort.

Comment from: Isabella, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 31

I must be extremely allergic to chigger bites, the red places get as large as a dime and the itching does not stop for 2 or 3 weeks.

Comment from: sweet pea, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I have a lot of Spanish moss in my yard and constantly have chigger bites and scars. I found the best way to help with itch is to scratch the top off the welt and squeeze the clear liquid out. I may have to do it a couple times but it works for me.

Comment from: dustin, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 21

To start with I am 19 years old. I started having symptoms of atrial fibrillation even though I did not know what I had at the time. I went to the emergency room (ER) and needless to say, what a night! I started with an EKG that showed I had atrial fibrillation that worried me a little bit. They ran an IV and put some diltiazem in me which regulated my heart beat until the male nurse and I got into an argument. At that point my heart rate went to 150 which is borderline as they put it. Well, I did end up leaving the hospital on 12/18/15 at 2:15 against medical advice. If it starts to get worse I will go back to the hospital. I do plan to follow up with a heart doctor as soon as I can. I will keep posting as this goes on.

Comment from: Chuck, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: December 16

The extreme itch and the boils and pus filled bites were so insanely annoying and painful. The cream Chiggerex is what I used for the most part, Benadryl was also helpful. I flushed out my infected parts with cold ice water at least twice a day. I don't know if that helped it at all but it numbed the pain and relieved the itch for a short amount of time.

Comment from: Nadine, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

When doing some backpacking in the Alps, I had a severe case of chigger bites. Being from the west of the US, I had no idea what I was dealing with. I suffered tremendous itching the last 4 days of my trip. When I got to Chamonix in France, the doctor took a look at me and told me I had a bad case of "aoutas" or chiggers in English. In France they treat it with a liquid called "Ascabiol". It is for scabies, but works very wells for chiggers.

Comment from: Anita, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I have never experienced these types of bites before. It has been 37 days to the day of the first bite and I am still itching from them and with continued scratching they leave a purple scar.

Comment from: ALI, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I have quite a reaction to chigger bites. The area is very large, red, swollen and hot with a white pustule type area in the middle and of course the most intense itch. Last time I had cotton balls soaked in vinegar taped to each area and it provided enough relief to allow me to sleep. This time around I am also trying Aveeno with Hydrocortisone and I'm just on day 2 but seems to be giving some relief. I also have a Benadryl salve to try.

Comment from: LiSA, 25-34 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 08

My daughter went on a float trip and found chigger bites on her feet, but did not scratch them. She went to the shower and poured hydrogen peroxide on her feet. Then black tiny bugs appeared, as they were dead. Symptoms included itching as well as serous drainage in a couple of the wounds. She tried Benadryl cream that stopped the itching for an hour. She then scratched them again and opened the wounds, applied Campho-Phenique, which burned, but she has been itch free for several days and the spots are pinpoint.

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Comment from: Barb, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 01

Have sympathy for all these people, because I have never felt such intense itching in my life. I should've scratched my skin off by now. After over a month, I am still using Benadryl cream which works pretty good, but have used Absorbine Jr. also off and on, which also takes the itching away immediately and feels nice an cool. Will try the Vicks VapoRub thing! Next time I clean up my garden, I'll do it with long sleeves and pants!

Comment from: Ginny, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 11

My friend and I went on a walk in the woods. The next day she called. She had bites all the way from her waist down. Luckily I just had intense itching on my legs ankles, and feet. She had already gone the nail polish, and bleach route. The article was right it did not help. We are both now trying the Benadryl route. If it doesn't help at least we will sleep.

Comment from: Loweern, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 25

I have been tortured by these little monsters. I finally found something that works for chiggers; Chiggerex. Amazing. The minute you dab it on the itch goes away and the hard boil like lesion heals much quicker.

Comment from: Deborah, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I have had chigger bites for the past 2 years. This is from working around the lawn, pulling weeds etc. I am currently having the best itch treatment with Aveeno.

Comment from: vicky, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

My chigger bites itch so much.

Comment from: TexasPerry, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 28

For some reason when I get chigger bites they do not itch and I don't know why.

Comment from: usangelicstar, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: October 08

My boyfriend was injected with enzymes from these chiggers and what we used was tea tree oil to calm down the itching and relieve the pain. We also used Ledum (homeopathic remedy) for bites and stings.

Comment from: KristyM123, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I came into contact with chiggers a few days ago cutting through some woods when out walking the dog. Several spots on my ankle were itching like absolute mad. I was not able to sleep, going crazy.

Comment from: Driver8, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 20

I too was baffled about the many bites that I had developed mostly on my legs with a few on my back and arms. I thought I had picked up bed bugs from a stay at a college dorm a week earlier. After searching fruitlessly for telltale signs of bed bugs. I finally checked with my friend that had gone with me to look at some wood in a barn in rural Virginia a few days before and he had the same symptoms.

Comment from: Shnna T, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I am in agony right now. Yesterday, my son and I decided to go on nature hike. We live in the north Georgia mountains. Never in my life have I ever had a chigger bite. I doused myself with Off before we left for our journey. When I got home, I started itching like something fierce. When I stripped down, my legs had spot all over them in patches, especially around my hips and the creases of my knees. It looks like mosquito bites. I tried witch hazel and Neosporin with no relief. My legs are clawed up from all of the scratching.

Comment from: Martha, 75 or over Female Published: July 31

I have a fever when I have lots of chigger bites. My doctor had me get nit and lice treatment and put on the bites wait 15 min then shower. I tried hydrogen peroxide and it helped some. I am highly allergic to them.

Comment from: Barbara, Female Published: July 10

My favorite treatment? NOXEMA! Though it helps with the itching, the bites still end up looking like weird cigarette burns.

Comment from: ann, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 10

After years of suffering with chigger bites, someone told me a simple treatment - one you always have with you. Spit on your finger and rub the bite area. When itching returns, repeat. Avoid scratching. I had tried everything on the market and would still have welts that took 3 or more weeks to heal. Now my bites heal in days.

Comment from: dressKR, 35-44 Female Published: June 18

I was bitten by chiggers on a trip to the beach. I have never felt such intense itching before in my entire life. I couldn't sleep at night and everything I tried to do I was interrupted by all the intense itching. I tried every over-the-counter treatment possible including topical hydrocortisone and other anti-itch creams. I would wake up at night crying because I could not get any relief.

Comment from: wewlicu48, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I had chigger bites from cutting down some brush. So what I did was soak in Bleach water for about 15 minutes and it does stop the itching for hours.

Comment from: Pat, 55-64 Female Published: May 29

I wore long pants, socks, shoes, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves, and a hat. Only my face and neck were uncovered (no bites there). I still got approximately 50 bites, from my armpits to my feet. My groin area is especially affected. I am on day 3, and the itching is unbearable. Caladryl clear lotion works quickly, but needs to be applied often. I used poison ivy soap to make a paste after taking an oatmeal bath and things are calm for the moment. I’ve been taking Benadryl at night.

Comment from: thundergroundranch, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 24

More than 25 years ago, my child's pediatrician gave us a prescription for Eurax after it was determined that Benadryl and corticosteroids didn’t help us much. It usually eliminated the itching in one application; sometimes it took two. We have used it ever since – even though it is sometimes hard to get the prescription filled. I have had many grateful friends buy me lunch after they learned about it from me.

Comment from: StokedLove, 25-34 Female Published: May 20

Because my hubby and I just went through this bug battle (and it is a battle/war – to say the least), that besides bathing, vacuuming, and regularly cleaning your house and/or pets: permethrin. It kills on contact – end of story. Get your nightmare over with, ASAP. If you continue to suffer, you will be the only one to blame for not using this.

Comment from: Anna, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 12

For a week I thought I was the victim of bed bug bites because I had the classic three bites in a row. Then after a day or so, the bites started to crisscross and I had numerous bites on my left leg and right arm. After much investigation, there was absolutely no indication of bed bugs, however, I was camping out at a lakeside cabin for a week in NC, which may have been a wonderful breeding ground for chiggers. After another week, the itching was so intense, even Benadryl didn't do the trick. Big red welts began to develop at the site of the bites. I am now on week three of intense itching (mostly at night) and ugly red welts with no sign of dissipating. I have applied Witch Hazel, Calamine lotion, and antibiotic ointment. I soaked in the Atlantic Ocean for two days and a highly-chlorinated swimming pool for another two days. I found temporary relief from the itching, but like a bad dream, it returns nightly. Starting today, I started having a bad headache and a low grade fever. I am not sure these symptoms are related to the chigger bites, but you never know.

Comment from: Shine, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I've used Vet’s Best Hot Spot Spray for dogs and on myself. I’ve recommended it to friends and have found it to be very effective on mosquito bites, as well.

Comment from: 55-64 Female Published: December 24

I got numerous chigger bites when I travelled in Nicaragua in November. I've been back for 5 weeks now and some of the bites still itch like crazy if I absent-mindedly scratch them.

Comment from: bri628, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

My chigger bites really hurt. I mowed the lawn and the next day I couldn't stop itching my ankles. We went and got over the counter chigger cream. I do have to admit it took a few days to get rid of. Make sure that you have shoes and socks and pants on when you are in the grass.

Comment from: betsy , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

After taking a hike through the woods I began excessive scratching, especially in hairy areas like my head, my eyebrows and my bikini cut, where they did my hysterectomy, sometimes so extreme it's embarrassing. I also use Rogaine and Retin A on my head for thinning hair My head sometimes feels like a small snake or worm in crawling through my scalp - Please help me.

Comment from: PFH, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 25

Five of us went for a dip in a stream. The following morning, I had over a dozen tiny, fluid-filled bumps scattered all over each leg. Among the five of us, only I got them. Itching was intense and did not subside at all when left alone for a couple of days, unlike mosquito bites which subside on their own in an hour or so. The number of bites did not seem to increase. If I popped any of them, it would result in dark, red, itchy welt.

Comment from: Butter, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 07

I think I have Chigger bites, the worst itch I have ever had. The only thing that helped was to take Benadryl twice a day for the itching. Most of the bites were around my ankles and a few scatter on the rest of my body. This is the third week and it still itches but not like the first week and a half.

Comment from: Lady D, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

The chigger bites I got really burned. It was a quick, hot sensation and then itching.

Comment from: Macadoo, 45-54 Male Published: July 27

After swimming in a lake, 2 days later and after several showers, the chigger bites appeared on my feet, and ankles. Little red bumps, itching like crazy.

Comment from: Tenn Gardener, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

I am very careful to dress protectively when working outside in the garden. However, I have many bites on my thighs.

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