How to Treat Chigger Bites: Ways to Prevent Chigger Bites & Treatments to Avoid by Donna John

How to Treat Chigger Bites: Ways to Prevent Chigger Bites & Treatments to Avoid

Have you ever said, "I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy?" Those are my feelings when it comes to chiggers. My two experiences with chiggers happened within the last year. When you “get into the chiggers” down South, you’ll be told to use clear nail polish, swab them with rubbing alcohol, take a bleach bath (what?) and other home-grown remedies.

After painting myself with clear nail polish on my first chigger challenge, dry, irritated skin was the result after the bites started to heal. Alcohol felt good the second chigger battle, but only while applying it, then, you guessed it, dry skin. To shed a little light on this chigger confusion, Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon and president of, answered a few questions about these invisible insects from hell.

First, what the heck are they? “Chiggers are small mites that live in every country and love moist, grassy areas during seasons when the ground is warm,” says Dr. Schlessinger. "While chiggers are not much more than a nuisance, their bites can cause some trouble if over-itched. When a chigger bites, it attaches to the skin, introducing a special enzyme via their saliva, which then leads to skin irritation, cell death and itching.”

Here’s how Dr. Schlessinger suggests treating chiggers:

  • “Take a shower and wash your clothes in hot water. Hot, soapy water will remove any chiggers that remain on the skin and clothing to prevent future bites and exacerbating existing ones. If you have any blankets or towels that touched the ground, wash those, too.”
  • “Apply an anti-itch treatment. Since repeated itching can increase inflammation, rashes or even bleeding and infection, an anti-itch treatment is a must. FixMySkin Healing Body Balm unscented with 1 percent hydrocortisone is my favorite treatment for skin irritation. I patented and invented it with my son, Daniel. The main ingredient is hydrocortisone, which heals irritation, nourishes and hydrates skin.”

To try and prevent chiggers in the first place, Dr. Schlessinger suggests the following:

  • “Avoid wet, grassy areas when you can. Chiggers live in moist, warm areas on and near the ground. Try to avoid grass and other areas near water, especially during the day and evening when the ground is still warm.”
  • “Wear long clothing. Wearing long, tightly-woven clothing is the best way to prevent chiggers from biting because they won’t be able to penetrate the fabric. It’s also a great way to stay protected from the sun!”

As for the clear nail polish and alcohol? “I am not sure that these remedies really work,” says Dr. Schlessinger. “In fact, it may be possible that they aggravate these in some situations!”


How do you deal with chigger bites? Share below!

Note: 30Seconds is a participant in the Amazon affiliate advertising program and this post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission or fees if you make a purchase via those links. The content on is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community, and follow us on Facebook to get inspiration in your newsfeed daily. Inspire and be inspired.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Tick Talk: 10 Facts About Ticks & Lyme Disease That Families Need to Know

Ticks & Lyme Disease: 5 Easy Ways to Protect Your Family From Ticks

Tick Bite Prevention: 4 Ways to Be Proactive in Fending Off Ticks This Summer

Yet Another Use for Vapor Rub: How Vapor Rub Helps Remove Ticks!

Elisa Schmitz
We have dealt with chiggers at the Ozarks. Yep, we used nail polish and it did seem to work, but I prefer these ideas. Many thanks for the great suggestions, Donna John and Dr. Schlessigner!
Donna John
Chiggers are always an issue in Texas. They are horrible, so if you can avoid them, do.

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

Boosting Brain Health in 2022: How New Year's Resolutions Can Impact the Health of Your Brain

Balancing Your Chakras Through Meditation: Which Practice Is Right for You?

Moving Into the New Year: 5 Ways to Make Healthy Resolutions That Stick