It is nothing short of amazing that the tiny, microscopic chigger can cause such intense itching when it bites. It is not actually the bite that itches but the saliva that the chigger injects into the tissue that contains digestive enzymes that kill the surrounding tissue in order to liquefy it to make it palatable to the chigger. Treating the itch of a chigger bite is the same as treating the itch from other pests that cause the same irritation.
Traditional Prescribed Itch Relief
Topical: Many over the counter products provide itch relief for bites. Topical lotions such as calamine and corticosteroids are highly effective at providing relief if reapplied as directed. Effective itch ingredients include menthol, camphor, phenol, benzocaine, pramoxine, or diphenhydramine.
Antihistamines: Antihistamines taken orally can also provide comfort by reducing swelling. The most effective ingredients are diphenhydramine, chlorpheniramine maleate, loratadine, or cetirizine.
Homemade Itch Relief
Many folk remedies have been passed on through the generations that itch sufferers swear by. Though not scientifically proven effective, the cost to try these remedies is relatively inexpensive.
Creams: It’s easy to create your own topical cream by adding equal parts of water to meat tenderizer, baking soda, or crushed aspirin.
Instant Cooling Relief: Place a cotton ball of cooling apple cider vinegar or rubbing alcohol on the affected area or try using a cool tea bag.
“Itching: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Oct. 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003217.htm.
“Mosquito bites: Lifestyle and home remedies – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mosquito-bites/DS01075/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies.