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The Deer May be at Bay, but the Chiggers Have Come to Stay

August 8, 2012

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On Sunday evening I was in the backyard looking at the beautiful sunset when I felt what I thought was a just a typical mosquito bite.

But within an hour, a widespread rash of intensely itchy red welts with blisters at their centers appeared on both legs.

From my ankles to my thighs, the rash took hold all night without letting up. I couldn’t sleep despite taking Benedryl and applying copious amounts of some anti-itch cream I found in our medicine cabinet.

And so I went googling… and it soon became very clear what I was dealing with: dreaded CHIGGER BITES!

I learned a lot that night about chiggers.

They are seriously creepy.

Larval.

Microscopic.

Menacing.

They attack their unsuspecting hosts like monsters in an epicly gruesome horror movie you really REALLY don’t want to see.

They start by injecting an enzyme into your skin that liquifies your flesh, then they feed on that liquid. And then, when they’re nice and full, they leave… And leave behind these nasty welts of misery that apparently can last for weeks.

WEEKS.

And since every single bite feels like poison ivy gone nuclear …

And since my legs have well over 100 bites, which is not uncommon, apparently …

Well, I’m more than a little uncomfortable and grumpy.

What’s to be done? This is what I’ve gleaned so far:

1. Stay on Benedryl 24/7 — antihistamines are crucial for relief.

2. Don’t scratch — infection & scars can result.

3. Apply Domeboro (an astringent) & warm water compresses — they’re very soothing and aid in drying out the rash.

4. Take Epsom Salt baths — you’ll feel a sting at first, then feel intensely itchy BUT after a few minutes the relief will be palpable & lasting.

5. Apply Neosporin to reduce the chance of infection.

6. Apply hydrocortisone or other anti-itch creams.

7. Remind yourself that you still love the great outdoors.

8. Resist the urge to post pictures of your rash on your blog — post the sunset instead (it’s way prettier).

9. Hope you never get bitten by these SOBs again!

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From → Bites, Gardening

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