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Symptoms begin after the chigger has started to inject enzymes into the host skin. The actual bite itself is not noticeable.
Itching is the main symptom, and itching usually is most intense 1-2 days after the initial bite. The itching can last for several days, and it can take up to 2 weeks for the areas to return to normal appearance.
Any condition characterized by intense itching can lead to scratching. In turn, scratching can lead to disruption of the skin, with the potential for secondary bacterial infections of the skin.
When to Seek Medical Care for Chiggers
Chigger bites can typically be managed at home without the need for medical care. However, medical care should be sought if a person has been bitten by a chigger and develops signs of a secondary bacterial infection of the skin (spreading areas of redness, warmth, pus, and increasing tenderness or pain).
Chigger bites are typically identified based upon their location on the skin and a history of being outdoors or in contact with vegetation as well as the characteristic itching. Diagnostic tests are typically not required.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/14/2016
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