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Tags: baking soda | chigger | bites

How to Use Baking Soda to Soothe Chigger Bites

By    |   Tuesday, 04 August 2015 01:02 PM EDT

Painful chigger bites can be soothed with the use of baking soda, although the persistent itching may require additional methods. 

The Peoples Pharmacy reported that some find relief from the itching by sitting in a baking soda bath. Others report making a paste of baking soda and water and rubbing it directly on the chigger bite, a natural remedy that many recommend for any bug bite or sting, the Ready Nutrition website said.

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These fixes, however, are probably temporary, and while the paste relieves the severe itching that accompanies the bites, it wears off when the paste dries, the website said.

Other treatments that are similarly natural include honey, garlic, and tea tree oil, Ready Nutrition said.

In considering natural remedies, a common suggestion is to put clear nail polish on the bite before putting any other topical, like baking soda paste, on it. However, MedicineNet.com said that information is based on an old wives' tale that said chiggers burrow into the skin. The bugs do not do that.

A chigger, noted the website, is a juvenile mite that comes from the same family as spiders and ticks. They live in grassy and forested areas that are often moist, near water sources and biting larvae are often located on plants, near the ground.

They are so small they typically can't be seen without a magnifying glass. People tend to see them only when there are several grouped on the skin, MedicineNet said. The severe itching that chiggers cause means the mite is rarely still on the site, so nothing needs to be done to kill it.

"Chiggers insert their feeding structures into the skin and inject enzymes that cause destruction of host tissue," the website explained. "Hardening of the surrounding skin results in the formation of a feeding tube called a stylostome. Chigger larvae then feed upon the destroyed tissue."

It's not the actual bite that causes the itching, but the digestive enzymes the chigger injects. MedicineNet said most bites actually show up 1 to 3 hours after the bite occurs.

Typically, chigger bites are treated with steroid creams prescribed by dermatologists, Peoples Pharmacy said. Other treatments include liquid sulfur products.

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Health
Painful chigger bites can be soothed with the use of baking soda, although the persistent itching may require additional methods.
baking soda, chigger, bites
408
2015-02-04
Tuesday, 04 August 2015 01:02 PM
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