Chiggers

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What are the symptoms of chigger bites?

A chigger bite itself is not noticeable. After the chigger has begun to inject digestive enzymes into the skin (usually after about 1-3 hours), symptoms and signs typically begin.

  • Pronounced itching is the most common symptom.
  • The area of the bite may be reddened, flat, or raised; sometimes it resembles a pustule or blister.
  • The itch is due to the presence of the stylostome and usually is most intense within 1-2 days after the bite.
  • The itching persists for several days, and complete resolution of the skin lesions can take up to two weeks.
  • If multiple bites are present, the condition may be mistaken for eczema or allergic contact dermatitis. A history of outdoor activity can suggest that chigger bites are the cause of itching and characteristic skin changes. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 6/30/2015
References
Missouri Department of Conservation Web site, "Chiggers"

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