For those of you who aren't familiar with these evil little creatures, a chigger is a small mite that lives in tall grass or shrubs in damp or humid areas, a.k.a the south. During their larva stage, they leap onto humans or animals and feast on the liquid in the skin cells. Gross, right?
Unfortunately for us humans, the chiggers are so small that they can't be seen with the naked eye and a person won't know that they've been bitten until the itchy welt appears. They frequently congregate in the damp (sweaty) areas on the body: armpits, under waistbands or bra straps, groin and inside socks.
I had my first chigger encounter just weeks after moving to Nashville in 1994. Being the Colorado girl that I am, I foolishly assumed that the bites on my ankles were from a pesky mosquito. I applied a little cortisone cream and went about my business. The only problem was that the cream did little to stop the insane itch. I lost sleep and scratched my ankles until they bled.
One day as I was strolling the aisles of my neighborhood grocery store, a kind old lady noticed my plight. She explained to me who the real culprits were and suggested that I paint the chigger bites with nail polish. This seals the bites from the air thus reducing the itch. It helped a little, but I was still miserable for weeks.
Last week, the boy and I found ourselves in an area that unbeknownst to us was infested with chiggers. While the boy's bites were located all over his body, mine seemed to be clustered on the backs of my knees and in my groin. I was thrilled because nothing is more horrifying than the sight of a 39-year-old woman frantically scratching her crotch.
I took handfuls of Benadryl and tried applying calamine lotion, nail polish and the prescription cortisone cream that my doctor prescribed for my last bout of poison ivy. Nothing worked. Then a friend suggested I try something a little different...
If you find yourself plagues with bug bites that just won't stop itching, give Anbesol a try. It just might provide the relief that your skin so desperately desires.
This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family. Pop by for some more handy tips.