It's chigger season, beware of summer penile syndrome

Originally published at: It's chigger season, beware of summer penile syndrome | Boing Boing


Pics or it didn’t- never mind.


We had chiggers every summer, and I’d never heard of this before.

Awkward Comedy Bang Bang GIF


In the days of yore my young dumb self slept/passed out in a cow pasture near Springfield Mo. At some point in the night, I roused enough to think I was lying in hot sand. It wasn’t hot sand and by sunrise I was so covered with chigger bites that I couldn’t hold still. By the time I endured the 5 hour ride home I went to the ER and ended up hospitalized for treatment. Steroids and some valium concoction. The misery was exquisite unlike anything before or since. I was a red mound from bellybutton to mid-thigh, many hundreds of the wretched bastards had violated me. The doctor was quite pleased to treat me saying he had never in his years seen such an infestation of chiggers. It was weeks before I felt free of the affects of that assault. Sounds vaguely funny to read about. Firsthand knowledge takes the chuckles right out of it.


Yeah I grew up in south Louisiana and this was never a thing


Considering where my recent Lyme disease rash manifested, I don’t think I can without an NSFW tag.


Awww!!! /hugs Iquitos and gently, ironically scratches their back during the hug


Ooh, what a bummer! :frowning: All needed healing to you!


Chiggers are the worst. I’d take 10 skeeter bites over 1 chigger bite. The itch lasts for a week or more. Currently scratching one on my perineum and one on my scrotom from a camping trip in N. Fla 2 weeks ago.


Does benadryl or similar antihistamines help at all? :frowning:

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tightens belt

tucks pant legs into socks

back out to the yard.


Well, this isn’t the “summer penile syndrome” I remember growing up.



Very little, these things are straight from hell. Time alone helps. I know this will sound crazy but when there are only a few I use a hair drier just as hot as I can stand it. Somehow it seems to relieve the itching for a brief period but at bedtime it can allow you to get to sleep before the itch drives you crazy. I taught this to my kids most of whom are outdoor types and they also agree it brings some relief. Maybe the blood brought to area somehow helps the toxin spread out and dilute. A medically induced coma would help maybe.

edit: Spelling


So not concoctions/soups of szechuan peppers? (Doesn’t track on Google, oh well. Chiginiasis didn’t at all, was 100% that was a top Rare Tropical Disease.) That’s a numbing sort’a thing there, but so’s the hair dryer I guess.


I was at a music festival this weekend and now have a bunch of chigger bites on my leg. The only thing that helps much for me is spraying Bactine on it a few times a day to numb it. (Don’t do this on large areas or too often – lidocaine can be absorbed and have unpleasant cardiac effects if you’re bathing in the stuff.) I already take an antihistamine for allergies though so not sure whether it helps.

I would honestly rather have poison ivy, I think. Chigger bites are awful. I’m waking up a zillion times at night anytime I roll onto my side or when the sheet touches the bites – anything touching it amplifies the itching.


:frowning: Sounds awful!! :frowning: All healing to you and everyone thus afflicted, except for asshole members of scotus, gqp’ers, and russian soldiers.

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I used to live down south and got chiggers every summer. One cure touted was that if you put nail polish on the bites they “suffocate.”
What that really does is turn horribly itchy red bites into horribly itchy crusty red bites :nauseated_face:
For anyone who hasn’t had them, imagine an itch that feels like it’s originating 1/4 to 1/2 inch beneath your skin, and it itches the way a mosquito in your ear sounds, piercing and insistent. You grate your teeth and clench your muscles to try to avoid scratching, but find yourself clawing at the bites anyway. And you just. can’t. reach it.


That is just plain evil.

They are indeed worse than poison ivy, in my experience.

Though I never had poison ivy as bad as the kid who was out in the woods when nature called, grabbed a handful of leaves and…


My recollection (perhaps incorrect) is that by the time one notices the itching, they have already moved on.