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Toothpaste Eases Itch of Chiggers

Toothpaste Eases Itch of Chiggers

Q. I had not had a chigger bite for over 50 years, so I wasn’t sure what the bites were when I got some last year. I tried the old remedies, including nail polish and calamine lotion, to no avail.

This year I knew that when I worked in my garden I would probably get chigger bites again. Sure enough, the bites itched like crazy.

I read somewhere that toothpaste on a blemish helped it heal. In desperation I daubed it on the bites, and the itching stopped. I reapplied several times and the bites went away.

I recently stepped into my little garden knowing I would probably get a chigger bite. I did, but once again I applied toothpaste and there was no itching. It’s a little messy, but I will take that over the intense itching any time.

A. Thanks for this interesting remedy. We have heard from people who have used toothpaste on minor burns, yellow jacket stings or itchy fungus under the breasts. This is the first report we have had that toothpaste might ease the itching from chigger bites.

Dermatologists often prescribe strong corticosteroid creams or gels to calm the itch. If toothpaste works for you, so much the better. Other readers have found that a baking soda soak can be beneficial.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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