Diseases & Conditions : Non-Traumatic Emergencies
Fleas, Mites, and Chiggers
Fleas, mites, and chiggers often bite humans, but are not poisonous. It is sometimes difficult to assess which type of insect caused the bite, or if the rash is caused by poison ivy or other skin conditions.
What are the symptoms of a flea, mites, or chigger bite?
The following are the most common symptoms of a flea, mite, or chigger bite. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Small, raised skin lesions
Pain or itching
Dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
Allergic-type reactions in hypersensitive persons with swelling or blistering
The symptoms of a flea, mite, or chigger bite may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
Treatment for bites caused by fleas, mites, and chiggers:
Specific treatment for these insect bites will be determined by your health care provider. Some general guidelines for treatment may include the following:
Clean the area well with soap and water.
Use an antihistamine, if needed, for itching.
Take acetaminophen, if needed, for discomfort.
When should I call my health care provider?
Call your doctor if any, or all, of the following symptoms are present:
Persistent pain or itching
Signs of infection at the site such as increased redness, warmth, swelling, or drainage
Call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS) if the individual has signs of a severe allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, tightness in the throat or chest, feeling faint, dizziness, hives, and/or nausea and vomiting.