Q. Our backyard backs up to the woods and we have a huge chigger problem every year. Here’s my remedy for the terrible itching.

If you try this, be very careful and don’t burn yourself. I turn a hair dryer on low heat and aim it at the bite, fairly close. It itches as if I’m scratching it. I pull the hair dryer away before the skin hurts. The itching stops for about six hours.

The heat must numb the nerves. I have never burned myself with this, but I can’t use it on my kids because I might burn them.

A. Heat seems to be an effective way to temporarily stop itching. We first learned about using hot water to soothe itchy bug bites from a 1961 textbook called Dermatology: Diagnosis and Treatment. The physician who recommended this approach noted that the water should be hot enough to be uncomfortable but not so hot that it burns.

Your hot air technique is similar but hot water may be safer. With either approach, caution is essential to prevent burns! 

We invite readers to share their experience with heat for itching in the comments below.

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  1. crazycat89
    Ohio
    Reply

    This is the only method that has allowed me to get some much needed relief. It isn’t a cure for chronic itching, unfortunately, but it does help. I wish I would’ve heard about this a lot sooner, because it has been a lifesaver.

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