Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Chiggers Overview

What are chiggers?
A person with chiggers has a skin infestation by a tiny insect. Chiggers are the name used for the larvae of a very small insect, called the harvest mite. Larvae are immature forms of insects after they hatch from the egg. The mite is found on tall grasses in the southern part of the US. The larvae attach to the surface of the skin. The term, chiggers, is also used to describe the itchy, red rash caused by the harvest mite larvae.

What are the symptoms of chiggers?
Symptoms of chiggers include severe itching and a red rash. The rash usually causes raised bumps that are most commonly located under clothed areas of the body. The symptoms usually last a few days, and then gradually resolve.

How does the doctor treat chiggers?
Treatment for itching from chiggers may include oral antihistamines and hydrocortisone cream.

Continue to Chiggers Symptoms

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Chiggers References
  1. Brown M, Hebert AA. Insect repellents: an overview. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1997 Feb;36(2 Pt 1):243-9. [9039177]
  2. Kemp ED. Bites and stings of the arthropod kind. Treating reactions that can range from annoying to menacing. Postgrad Med. 1998 Jun;103(6):88-90, 93-6, 102 passim. [9633544]
  3. Millikan LE. Mite infestations other than scabies. Semin Dermatol. 1993 Mar;12(1):46-52. [8476733]
  4. Stawiski MA. Insect bites and stings. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1985 Nov;3(4):785-808. [2414093]
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