Q. I got into some chiggers and was in misery, so after everything else failed I decided to try some hydrogen peroxide. To my surprise the itch stopped immediately and never came back.

A. Dermatologists say chigger bites itch because of a reaction to the digestive enzymes chiggers leave behind. Perhaps hydrogen peroxide degrades these enzymes, but we haven’t seen any studies that support this.

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  1. Ann

    I was suffering with Chigger bites on both legs. The itch was horrible! I tried Hydrocortisone cream with very little relief. I decided to try Hydrogen Peroxide and the itch immediately disappeared! Wow…I am amazed! This stuff really works!

  2. SLN

    I used Vicks vapor rub mixed with regular salt and immediately stopped burning and itching.
    About a half jar of Vicks mixed with 2 tablespoons salt, easy to make and worked well for me.
    You might want to try this home remedy used by many for years.

  3. ks

    I’m at the end stage of a chigger infestation on my legs. The best thing so far has been applying jewelweed (aka touch-me-nots, or pop-me-nots) to stop the itching. Problem was that the itching came back in about 24 hours. If the itching is caused by an enzyme, wouldn’t Adolph’s Meat tenderizer work at neutralizing the protein since it does the same for jellyfish stings?

  4. Dao

    When I was a kid in Minnesota mosquitoes and poison ivy were always around In the summer. For any topical itch from bug or plant I have found running super hot but not burning water on the effected area for as long as possible in stone shower does the trick. A few minutes will desensitize the skin for hours of relief. Apple cider vinegar also works mixed 50/50 with water sprayed out of a spray bottle works good.

  5. Jsz

    Use a hair blow dryer medium heat until you can’t take it any longer repeat 2 times if necessary everything else is but a joke… And by all means never do this in a bathtub or on a ladder or while pumping gas.

  6. Holly

    I have possibly the worst case of chiggers on the planet right now! It looks like I have chicken pox from my toes to my shoulders. I tried Hydrogen Peroxide, but for me the relief only lasted until the peroxide dried up. It looks like I’m going to have to go to the doctor for this one. With the constant itching, I’m only able to get a couple hours of sleep each night. This is an awful situation.

  7. Tyler

    Hydrogen peroxide works so well. It stings for less the a minute and then no itch what so ever.

  8. Alvin in AZ

    Yes! :D
    Chigger itch/bite cure = Hydrogen Peroxide
    As a kid I was told that chiggers burrow under the skin. :/
    Even my doctor said so and was told to use nail polish! :/
    That dangged stuff made some of mine worse, no kidding. Had to use Betadine to clear up some of them that got infected and Triamcinolone Acetonide 0.1% even. :/
    In my experience… don’t use nail polish for chiggers!
    So, I read Wikipedia and discovered that it was an injected enzyme making me itch. Well heck, in 8th grade science class we made gases out of cockroaches and H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) because it reacted with proteins, enzymes tend to be proteins so I tried it.
    Only 1 out of 1 tester and no double blind study paid for with your tax money, here. xD
    All I can say is instead of three weeks of itching the H2O2 turns it into about three days of easy-to-bear-itching.
    All it takes is ten minutes with a Q-Tip dipped in H2O2 and give it time to react with that juicy hole in your skin, on the first day you know it’s a chigger “bite”.
    Try it, there’s -real-science- behind this idea. ;)
    Alvin in AZ

  9. R P

    I deal with chiggers every year. I live in the mid west and outdoor fun comes with consequence. The itch can be annoying, but usually tolerable, until now. While out metal detecting I sit down to dig holes as so not to strain my back or lug around a giant spade. Well this time I got 4 bites in a personal area. Amongst a few in varies parts like waist line back of knees and ankle. But it’s the ones on my private property that are down right aggravating painful and concerning. I don’t know what’s safe to put on that area… But I can tell you that cortazone cream is a joke. I’m afraid to do some home remedies and other remedies seem foolish. I’ll try a few but multiple hot showers with bar soap to dry out the skin is the only momentary relief I have. Doesn’t quite help while at work though. Guess I’ll just have to tough the week out. :-(

  10. CW

    To wear tight clothing is a bad recommendation. Chiggers congregate around tight clothing. Sock lines, underwear edges, even tight jeans. I’ve never gotten as many chigger bites as when I wore a pair of tight jeans out into the pasture.
    Also, It is a myth that a chigger lives under your skin. It’s an enzyme they release that makes you itch. Not the bug itself.

  11. dp

    Vinegar seems to work for allergic dermatitis as well. For some people, me, it works wonderfully on poison ivy. If I know I’ve been exposed, washing with soap and water and then applying vinegar, undiluted, keeps the blisters from coming. If I’m exposed unawares and I later notice the blisters, I still liberally apply the vinegar.
    It prevents the weeping, spreading reaction from developing. Our family has found that impatiens, jewel weed, works well also. Split the stems and apply the juice to the poison ivy wounds. For anyone topically allergic to latex, vinegar stops the pain, inflammation and itching involved with direct rubber contact. It works immediately! Full strength vinegar.

  12. sheila H.

    re:peroxide for chigger bites and itch;
    My husband got into tall grasses years ago and got lots of chiggers; from the knees down his legs were horrible.
    I got out our trusty Apple Cider Vinegar. I poured some into a bowl, dipped in a sponge (any applicator will work; even sprayer bottle) and applied to his legs; after the burning stopped, the itches went away in seconds; (by the way: the burning was not bad);

  13. Karen C.

    I’ve had similar success with applying liquid band aid, which is available on drug store shelves.

  14. BH Shaw

    Chiggers crawl under the skin and die there. It is important to deal with that too, and not just the itch.
    Avoid hot humid forests. That’s where I’ve been had by chiggers. And if you have to go in, wear tight clothing, esp. on the lower part of the body.

    • Jesse

      Loose fitting clothes are best when venturing into potential chigger territory (AKA no-see-ums). These creatures love tight clothes where it is hot and humid (which is why the love socks, waistbands, underarms, and personal areas. DEET is supposed to keep them off, but that stuff isn’t something I want on me really. Although, after being bitten, I wonder now.

      They do not die in you; as has been mentioned, it’s the enzymes in their horrible, horrible mouthparts that liquify your skin for their nourishment. They bite in their nymph stage and, when they finish feasting, drop off, leaving a hard stylostome, a straw-like channel that is hardened and can easily be infected.

      I’ve got about 80 bites on me right now and I look like a health textbook photo. I’ve just taken a super hot shower (>125 degrees F) and liberally applied Witch hazel followed by H2O2 (I didn’t want to rinse off the peroxide with the witch hazel). The hot shower should have opened up the pores, even the stylostomes and allowed the treatment in. I saw some fizzing, which could be because I scratched myself silly and it’s reacting with the tiny amount of blood or because it’s reacting with the proteins.

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