If you’ve just recently come in from an outdoor activity – whether it was simple gardening or playing catch with your kids – and you notice that all of you are experiencing an itchy rash, you may be wondering what’s going on and whether or not you need to look for an ER near me to stop the itch.
The good news is that what you and your family are most likely experiencing is something that can be treated at home instead of through urgent care in Temple. The culprit? Chiggers! The bad news is that these pesky little arachnids – you read that right, they are a type of spider – can be found in every country of the world.
It’s important to point out that adult chiggers don’t bite – it’s only the babies that have hatched and remain clumped together on leaves and grasses that bite. Most common in late spring, summer, and early fall in the United States, these arachnids are most active when the ground temperature remains between 77- and 86-degrees Fahrenheit. Because they die when it gets colder than 42 degrees, you and your family won’t have to worry about chigger bites during the winter months in the northern hemisphere. Remember, though, that chiggers are found in every country, so if you plan to travel to the southern hemisphere during the winter months, you may want to stay prepared for their greeting!
If you see tiny red dots on your skin after you’ve been outdoors, there’s a good chance you’ve been bitten by chiggers. You should immediately take a shower or bath and scrub the affected skin with soap and water. Not only will this cleanse the area, but it will also wash away any chiggers that may still be on your skin. After drying the area, you can apply an over-the-counter itch cream, such as a calamine, anti-histamine, or hydrocortisone lotion, to the affected area.
Although chiggers can bite anywhere on your body, they seem to prefer the areas around your waist or lower legs – and the bites typically appear in clusters. Keep in mind, however, that if they bite a boy or a man around his groin area, the result may turn into something called “summer penile syndrome” which causes itching, swelling, and difficulty urinating. This condition can last for a few days or a few weeks, and while it will typically resolve itself on its own, a visit to Express ER in Temple can help expedite the recovery.