What bit me?
June 19, 2017 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Woke up with a strange bite above my ankle. What did it?

I woke up with this above my ankle. I work outside during the summer, so I think it's a bug bite of some kind.

It's red and itchy, so I would suspect a mosquito, but it seems more extensive and inflamed than a usual mosquito bite. I'm worried I might have bedbugs or that something in my bed bit me in the night.

What bit me? Should I leave it alone or get it looked at?
posted by thedarksideofprocyon to Science & Nature (6 answers total)
Could you possibly have been near poison ivy or some other poisonous plant? Especially if it starts to develop pus-filled little blisters over the next day or so, that would be my first guess.
posted by drlith at 9:01 AM on June 19, 2017

I had this some times, always thought it's tiny spiders.* Typical pattern of several bites close to each other, and that it takes longer to subside than mosquito bites. I'd wait a little longer, but if it doesn't get better I'd have someone look.

*then again I don't live in a country with poison ivy...
posted by Namlit at 9:04 AM on June 19, 2017

Best answer: Take an antihistamine, dab a little hydrocortisone cream on it. If it gets worse in the next 4-8 despite those two things, it's probably some kind of monster/zombie bite and you need medical reinforcement. But if it chills out, loses some redness, and doesn't bother you, it's probably going to just need a day or two of maintenance and will then be a memory. If it does anything other than reduce in size and intensity, keep taking photos.

If you develop any flu-like symptoms and you live anywhere remotely near Zika or West Nile territory, hit an urgent care.

It could be pretty much anything smaller than a rodent, and you'll probably never know what exactly unless you catch one in the process of doing it.

You check for bedbugs with bedbug traps, you can't confirm with bites. If you're not using a strong bug repellant when working outside you should be, see above re West Nile and Zika.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:17 AM on June 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Depending on your location it could be a chigger bite. After moving to Maryland, I got a bunch of these on my ankles while walking my dog. It's hard to tell from your picture if it's just a rash or if you can see individual bite marks. The picture of the welt from a chigger bit does superficially resemble your rash. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trombiculidae Apparently the little bastards inject some nasty business in the bites. The bites I got were red and itchy for almost two weeks. I liberally applied hydrocortisone anti-itch cream during that time. Sleep-scratching was a problem, but they did eventually go away.
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:28 AM on June 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

The photo is a little blurry. I've had scratches and pressure marks like that before, it may not be a bite at all. I have sensitive pale skin so it marks up easily. If you can see tiny puncture marks or a small crusted area or any oozing then you may have actually been bitten by something. I would wash it and keep an eye on it, if it grows in size or if something develops in the center that bleeds or turns into a large pimple, then you could have a staph infection. Just watch it and have it looked at by your doctor if it doesn't appear to be getting better. If the redness begins to spread see a doctor right away because it could be cellulitis
posted by Avosunspin at 11:22 AM on June 19, 2017

that looks like two mosquito bites close together to me
posted by Jacqueline at 6:11 PM on June 19, 2017

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