How to identify and treat mite bites?

Mite bites can be caused by a wide variety of species. Therefore, it is vital to learn to recognize these injuries and how they should be treated.

Last update: 27 January, 2022

Mite bites or stings usually cause mild discomfort in most people. In general, they cause inflammatory lesions on the skin and even promote the development of diseases. Are you interested in knowing how to identify and treat mite bites? Next we tell you.

Mites are a group of arthropods related to ticks. These are small insects, less than 1 millimeter, that lack eyes and wings, so they move by jumping. Mites are not visible to the naked eye, which makes their timely identification difficult.

There are various types of mite bites. In this sense, some feed on skin cells to later detach themselves, while others penetrate the skin to complete part of their evolutionary cycle. Most are ectoparasites of other animals and bite humans by accident.

Symptoms of mite bites

The clinical manifestations of mite bites are very varied and depend on the type of mite involved. Some people may not feel the bite until shortly after it occurs, while others develop a severe skin rash.

Generally, mite infestations result from exposure to rodents, cats, dogs, birds, pigs, contaminated straw or hay. It is common for bites to occur on uncovered areas of the body.

Some common symptoms of mite bites are:

  • Red spots on the skin surrounded by a pink halo.
  • Small bumps or lumps.
  • Irritation and sensitivity in the area.
  • Pain near the lesions.
  • intense itching
  • Blisters or vesicles around the bite site.

On the other hand, dust mites are not capable of biting humans, but cause allergic reactions, such as dermatitis or rhinitis. This species usually feeds on the cells that are shed from the skin and accumulate in the bed, pillows and carpets.

Studies affirm that 1 in 3 people with asthma or allergic rhinitis shows sensitivity to mites. In most cases, this is the result of faeces and decomposing bodies becoming trapped in the dust and traveling through the air.

Asthmatic exacerbations are more frequent in people who are surrounded by an environment with a strong presence of mites.

How to identify the type of mite that bit me?

There is a wide variety of mites capable of biting people. Sometimes the characteristics of the stings can be helpful in recognizing the responsible arthropod. Similarly, sticky traps are also useful for capturing them.

1. Scabies or scabies

Scabies is an ectoparasitosis caused by the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Research estimates a prevalence of 300 million people affected worldwide. This condition is associated with overcrowding, poor hygiene, and malnutrition.

Mange mites require an animal host to survive. They are highly contagious and can be spread by direct contact with infected people. In most cases, it takes 2-4 weeks for symptoms to appear.

The typical manifestation is a rash made up of small red papules that cover the trunk and extremities. these injuries are common in the armpits, areolas, waist, thighs, and genitals.

The groove I caress It is a classic linear and scaling lesion of scabies, which has a vesicle at one end that indicates the entrance of the mite. These grooves are common in the creases of the wrists, fingers and the dorsum of the foot.

Similarly, people often have intense itching that is worse at night and in hot conditions. If you suspect this disease, you should see a specialist as soon as possible.

2. Tungiasis

Tungiasis is a parasitic disease caused by the mite Tunga penetrateyes, also called chigger. occurs when the female chigger penetrates the skin and feeds on the blood of the person, and then lays several eggs inside.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 99% of infestations occur on the feet. At birth, chigger larvae are capable of dissolving the skin and causing pain, itching and inflammation in the area. It is recommended not to scratch the area due to the risk of bacterial superinfection.

Similarly, the presence of small whitish or grayish spots and nodules is common. The main lesion is characterized by being a rounded papule, yellow-green in color, with a dark central point, surrounded by a reddish halo.

3. Mites Demodex

mites of the genus Demodex They are common ectoparasites on human skin. cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope. These are more common in older adults and mainly inhabit the hair follicles on the face, as well as the chest and neck.

They feed on skin cells and do not cause obvious discomfort. However, abrasions caused by their bites can lead to the following symptoms:

  • Rough skin with scales.
  • Small red dots on the skin.
  • Burning and sensitivity.

People with suppressed immune systems are more prone to these injuries. Similarly, these mites can lead to a worse evolution of other skin diseases, such as dermatitis, rosacea and alopecia.

4. Bird and rodent mites

Bird mites, such as Dermanyssus, are usually acquired by coming into contact with certain poultry or their nests. Human bites are rare. and usually produce lesions similar to scabies.

In general, affected people can present with small papules and spots accompanied by itching that worsens at night. Similarly, there may be irritation, pain and inflammation of the skin. Lesions usually spare the face, fingers, and genitalia.

On the other hand, a large number of rodent mites have been described that can bite humans by accident. Research suggests that the species Ornithonyssus Y Liponyssoides are capable of producing pruritic dermatitis in man. This is characterized by swelling, redness and itching.

5. Straw and oak mites

Straw mites typically inhabit hay, grain, and seed stored in barns. They generally feed on certain insects and human bites are rare. In most cases they disappear from the body after causing the bite.

Bites in humans usually occur on the neck, arms, and shoulders. They present as single or multiple small red spots, similar to a rash. As in the rest of the bites, itching is a typical symptom.

On the other hand, oak mites live on leaves and feed on flies that come to the site. Bites in humans are more common in late summer and are usually more serious. In this sense, they leave welts and red nodules on the face, face, shoulders and neck.

Oak mite bites can be confused with tungiasis lesions. Within 12 hours, they enlarge and become painful bumps. In addition, they usually disappear after 1 to 2 weeks of treatment.

Mites are rarely seen with the naked eye. That allows them to bite and go unnoticed.

Treatment of mite bites

Suspecting a mite bite It is advisable to take a bath with plenty of soap and water.. This, in order to eliminate possible mites that may continue to adhere to the skin. Similarly, the person must remove and wash the clothes and bed sheets with hot water.

Treatment, when they do not penetrate the skin surface, is symptomatic. Creams containing corticosteroids or antihistamines are used to relieve itching until the skin lesions disappear. Oral antihistamines are used if more severe skin reactions occur.

In case of suffering from scabies, It is necessary to use medicines that allow to eliminate the infestation.. Some of the most used are permethrin, crotamiton and ivermectin. Those affected should maintain good hygiene and avoid contact with other people.

When to seek medical attention?

Mite bites are usually harmlesshowever, these should not be underestimated. For this reason, it is necessary to go to a consultation before any type of sting in order to obtain the appropriate treatment and reduce the risk of complications.

It’s a good idea to seek help as soon as possible if the itching, pain, and swelling get worse after a couple of days. Similarly, the presence of fever and discharge of pus from the wound could indicate a possible infection.

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