Chigger vs Poison Ivy

Chigger Vs Poison Ivy

Chiggers and Poison Ivy are two common plants that can cause itchy, uncomfortable skin reactions. They are both plants that can be found in the United States and both cause a red, itchy rash. Knowing the difference between the two can help you to recognize and treat each one correctly.

What is Chigger?

Chiggers are arachnids in the Trombiculidae family and can be found in the woods, fields, and gardens. Chiggers are very small, about the size of a pinhead, and usually can’t be seen with the naked eye. They attach themselves to the skin of mammals, where they inject digestive enzymes that cause an itchy rash.

What is Poison Ivy?

Poison Ivy is a plant in the Rhus family that grows in many areas of the United States. It contains a strong allergen in the form of an oil called urushiol. This oil is readily released into the air when the plant is cut or crushed, which then causes an allergic reaction in those who come in contact with it. It can cause an itchy red rash that is often accompanied by swelling and blisters.

How to Tell the Difference

The main difference between chiggers and poison Ivy is the means in which they affect you. Chiggers attaches themselves to the skin and injects digestive enzymes that causes an itchy rash. Poison Ivy releases an oil called urushiol when it is cut or crushed that causes an allergic reaction.

Differences in Symptoms

  • Chigger: Chiggers usually cause reddish-colored bites that are located in groups or clusters on the skin. They can be extremely itchy and can last for several days.
  • Poison Ivy: Poison Ivy causes an itchy, red rash with swelling and blistering. The rash can spread if the person is scratching and can also cause other symptoms such as nausea, headache, vomiting and fever.


Though both plants can cause itchy, uncomfortable skin reactions, the treatment for each is different.

  • Chigger: To treat chigger bites, wash the affected area with warm water and soap and then apply an over-the-counter anti-itch cream or lotion. Oral antihistamines can also help with the itching.
  • Poison Ivy: To treat poison Ivy, wash the affected area with cool water and soap and apply a corticosteroid cream or lotion. An oral antihistamine can also help relieve the itching.

In summary, chiggers and poison Ivy can both cause itchy skin reactions but the cause and symptoms of each are different. Knowing the difference between the two can help you to identify and treat each one correctly.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *