Oak Mites: Bites & Treatment

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  • 0:00 Oak Mite Bites
  • 0:55 What Are Oak Mites?
  • 1:24 Treating Oak Mite Bites
  • 2:26 Preventing Future Oak…
  • 3:14 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Alyssa Campbell

Alyssa is an active RN and teaches Nursing and Leadership university courses. She also has a Doctorate in Nursing Practice and a Master's in Business Administration.

Oak mites are microscopic bugs found on the leaves of oak trees. Occasionally these mites fall from trees and land on human skin. Read this lesson to learn more about oak mites and how to treat their itchy bites.

Oak Mite Bites

Jeffrey is an adolescent boy who lives in a small town in Texas. Plenty of beautiful large oak trees line his neighborhood streets where he spends a lot of time outside playing with his friends. When his mom helps him bathe and prepare for sleep, she notices small red pustules, which are basically the same thing as bumps, on his neck. She noticed these because Jeffrey had been scratching his neck and arms earlier that night, but she wasn't all that concerned at the time.

Because Jeffrey spent a great deal of the day playing under the great oak trees in the yard, his mom begins to suspect oak mite bites. Jeffrey appears to have classic oak mite bites with the following characteristics:

  • The appearance: small, red pustules, or pimple-looking bumps
  • The location: found on the upper body, especially on the arms, face, and neck
  • The sensation: highly itchy

What Are Oak Mites?

Oak mites, also known as itch and gall mites, are small white bugs found on the leaves of oak trees. They are microscopic in size and, therefore, invisible to the naked eye. Oak mites don't actively seek out humans to feed on, but they'll definitely bite if unable to find food. Jeffrey's mom knows that the mites she discovered Jeffrey had intend to feed on larva found on the edges of oak leaves, but they're also small enough to be carried by wind and typically fall out of the tree onto their victims.

Treating Oak Mite Bites

Oak mite bites can be especially itchy and uncomfortable. Jeffrey's mom helps to treat his bites and prevent future ones. Let's first take a look at how we can prevent infection. While it is difficult for Jeffrey to stop scratching the oak mite bites on his neck, his mom explains that it is important not to scratch them open. If he continues to scratch them, his skin will break open and he will be at risk for infection.

Now let's take a look at handling the itchiness that can come from oak mite bites. Jeffrey's oak mite bites are itchy due to his body's response to being bitten. His mom applies hydrocortisone cream to the affected area. This is a topical steroid treatment that is used on the skin to reduce itchiness, redness, and irritation from tissue damage or an allergic response.

Now let's take a look at the medications that can be used to treat oak mite bites and their symptoms. Next, Jeffrey takes an antihistamine pill to further reduce the itchiness, redness, and inflammation from the oak mite bites. The medication is used to help his body manage the symptoms of bites and improve his comfort.

Preventing Future Oak Mite Bites

With some help from his mom, Jeffrey's symptoms and presence of pustules lasted two weeks, which is about average. To help prevent future oak mite bites, Jeffrey and his mom do the following:

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