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DERMATOLOGY :: Insect Bites

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, mite, or chigger bite?

The following are the most common symptoms of a flea, mite, or chigger bite. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • small, raised skin lesions
  • pain or itching
  • dermatitis (inflammation of the skin)
  • allergic-type reactions in hypersensitive children with swelling or blistering

The symptoms of a flea, mite, or chigger bite may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

Treatment for bites caused by fleas, mites and chiggers:

Specific treatment for these insect bites will be determined by your child's physician. Some general guidelines for treatment may include the following:

  • Clean the area well with soap and water.
  • Use an antihistamine, if needed, for itching.
  • Give your child acetaminophen, if needed, for discomfort.

When should I call my child's physician?

Call your child's physician if your child has:

  • persistent pain or itching.
  • signs of infection at the site such as increased redness, warmth, swelling, or drainage.
  • fever.

Call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS) if your child 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.

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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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