My chiggers are gone, and now I know better what to do about them if I ever get them again. I won’t do anything other than wash and wait.
Chiggers do not dig into the skin, so putting something (e.g., nail polish) over the affected area is not going to suffocate the harvest mite that causes the inflamation and itching. They bite and their saliva includes a substance that essentially liquifies skin cells; then they feed on the slushy of skin and saliva.
The itching is caused by histamines coming to the site to combat the fluids the harvest mite uses to liquify the skin so that it can feed on it. So, knocking the chiggers off (washing, for example) is helpful. After the infestation, though, creams or lotions with antihistamines or corticosteroids would help relieve the itch.
Of course, one could always spend $$ on a home or herbal remedy. There are lots of them advertised on Web sites that have “chigger” in the domain name: “chiggerbitestreatment” or “chigger-treatment.” One’s “chigger bites” will likely get better anyway, so using the treatment for chiggers will likely make it appear that the remedy worked.
- Nina Bicknese’s detailed article;
- V. Iannelli’s About.com entry;
- Medline Plus entry;
- University of Maryland extension group’s 2-page PDF sheet;
- Clemson University entomology group’s entry.