Photo Quiz Answer – Q.002

Photo Quiz Answer – Q.002 – June 17, 2011

Here’s a little more (fabricated) history to help you decide.

This picture was taken 36 hours after a Labor Day picnic, which this girl enjoyed thoroughly, lying in the grass, talking on her cell phone.

If you’ve ever suffered the problem, you’ll recognize it now – chiggers – the super-itchy rash produced by exposure to the harvest mite.

By the time the rash appears, the tiny mite is (usually) long-gone.  The rash occurs wherever a chigger has injected enzymes to dissolve the skin (all the better to eat you, my dear).

Treatment is aimed at prevention and treating the itch with Calamine lotion, topical steroids, and/or oral antihistamines such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin, or generic equivalents.

Eventually the spots go away even with no treatment, though it may take 2-3 weeks for the lesions to resolve.

Scratching may lead to a secondary bacterial infection, that might require topical or oral antibiotics.

No quarantine is needed, though it may be a good idea to wash clothing that may have been exposed to mites living in long grasses during the late summer months.

For more information, visit: emedicinehealth

About Cynthia J. Koelker, MD

CYNTHIA J KOELKER , MD is a board-certified family physician with over twenty years of clinical experience. A member of American Mensa, Dr. Koelker holds degrees in biology, humanities, medicine, and music from M.I.T., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and the University of Akron. She served in the National Health Service Corps to finance her medical education.
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