Ask A Skin Doctor: Chigger Bites

chigger bites

Dear Doctor

These red pimples or bumps used to occur every summer on my skin on my butt area, waist, in between the thighs. My skin of this area turned itchy, dry, harsh. please suggest something.

chigger bites

Dear Patient

These red pimples or bumps that occur during summer are suggestive of insect bites. Chiggers tend to bite around the waist, in the armpits and groin as well as around the ankles.


The bite of these microscopic mites is not noticeable. Symptoms usually begin in 1-3 hours after the chigger has begun to inject digestive enzymes into the skin after encountering it. These symptoms include intense itching and red, raised with pimple-like hives.


Treatment of Chigger Bites

Chigger bites usually heal on their own in one or two weeks. In the meantime their treatment includes:

1. Washing the area with soap and water.

2. Applying Calamine lotion to relieve the itch.

3. Applying a mild corticosteroid cream like 1% Hydrocortisone to control the itch.

4. Using antihistamines like Claritin and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) to relieve the itch

5. Avoid scratching the bites since this can lead to infections. An over-the-counter oral antihistamine can be taken if the itching is severe.

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