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Chiggers on the feet: what are they and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Have you heard of chiggers on feet? Sting, chiggers, sand flea and tunga penetrans are just some of the names by which this type of mite is known, which cannot be visible to the human eye but can cause severe discomfort to the person. The main one is intense itching and swelling in the area. Proper treatment reduces the severe consequences that chiggers can cause on the feet in some cases. The preferred location of this mite is distributed in South America, Central America and in some areas of Africa, causing health problems in several countries. In this FastlyHealarticle we will talk about chiggers on the feet: what they are and their treatment .

What are chiggers on feet

The Chiggers are a type of mite belonging to the family of arachnids that handles parasitize humans to feed on the cell fluid and blood of its host, living in the place of their sting indefinitely to lay their eggs.

The pique has claws that allow it to adhere to the skin to pierce it and inject its saliva to later absorb the cellular liquid and the blood, this being its way of feeding.

When the chigger has already fed for a few days (this process is carried out by the female), it detaches from the skin where it was attached. Once the tunga has performed this procedure, the skin will become irritating and the characteristic symptoms will begin to manifest.

Chiggers on the feet: symptoms

Chiggers are preferably located in outdoor areas, and their geographical location is basically centered in areas of South America, Central America and Africa. The places where the bite is located are in places where there are grasses, tall weeds and berry fields , its bite being frequent in the summer and autumn months.

Tungiasis is undoubtedly associated with poverty, and its prevalence in endemic areas is 15–55% 1 . For its part, the incidence of this condition in Europe is due to migrants and tourists from endemic areas.

Young chiggers are the ones that cause discomfort to humans, the most susceptible part of the body is the feet , due to the type of skin they have (thin and thin), which generates symptoms such as:

  • Red, pimple-like welts where chiggers have penetrated the skin.
  • Intense itching only a few hours after the itch adheres to the human skin, the itching will get worse as the hives get bigger.
  • Central black point corresponding to the back of the chigger’s abdomen.
  • The sting alone does not cause any pain.

Chiggers on the feet: treatment

To make the diagnosis of chiggers on the feet, a physical examination of the injuries by the doctor will suffice , who will also ask about the activities and places of work of the person. With this, the presence of tungiasis can be confirmed and the necessary treatment indicated. The tungiasis is a self – limiting disease , ie forwards alone between 4 and 6 days , however the presence of chiggers on your feet is important:

  • To soothe itchy feet, it is recommended to take a shower with hot water and rub the area where the hives are visible with soap and water.
  • Generally, over-the-counter medications will be required to soothe the itching, such as calamine, thus avoiding any complication processes such as skin infections.
  • Ice applied directly to the area to soothe the itch momentarily.
  • In the event that this condition is not self-limiting and lasts longer, the doctor will indicate the outpatient surgical removal of the chigger. In this case, it will also indicate treatment with oral or local antibiotics.
  • The use of systemic antibiotics may also be indicated in the case of a severe infectious complication.

In the following FastlyHealarticle we explain how to eliminate mites on the skin .

How to prevent chiggers on your feet

The prevalence of tungiasis will depend on the preventive measures taken, always taking into account all the risk factors associated with this annoying condition that, if not treated in time, can generate serious complications such as skin infections caused by scratching. frequent. Here’s how to prevent chiggers on your feet :

  • The best way to prevent chiggers on the feet is to avoid frequenting the most prone places for these mites forests, grasses, tall weeds, berry fields.
  • After working or visiting these areas it is important to take a shower with hot soapy water to remove all the mites.
  • It is recommended to use repellants that contain N, N -diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) and apply it directly to the entire body, sometimes it is advisable to apply it a few days before exposing yourself to risk areas.
  • Wash clothes that have been used in these areas with hot water to eliminate the mite.
  • Finally, it is advisable to use the appropriate clothing when being in this area where chiggers normally live, it is important to use clothing that covers the body as much as possible.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Chiggers on the feet: what they are and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Skin, hair and nails .

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