Are chiggers having a moment? The Stuff You Should Know podcast just released a featured "selects" (where they highlight past episodes) episode on chiggers, which was a chigger trigger for me. It brought back memories from the summer when I was about 8, when my mom, sister, and I traveled to rural south Louisiana to visit some relatives, and we all got absolutely devoured by chiggers. I had red chigger bites all over my entire body and oh boy was I absolutely miserable for days.
I decided to see if chiggers had been in the news lately, and lo and behold I found this most disturbing article about "summer penile syndrome." As its author James Felton writes, "Sorry, everybody." Read it and weep, folks:
What is real, however, is summer penile syndrome. Summer penile syndrome is a condition that occurs mainly during the warmer summer months, and will certainly make your penis larger due to uncomfortable swelling.
The condition is also known as Lions Mane Penis, due to the unfortunate look produced by the swelling, which is like a donut (or lion's mane if you really squint) around the penis.
The syndrome – largely seen in younger patients – is usually caused by chigger bites on the penis, and sometimes exposure of the penis to poison ivy, sumac, and oak, usually after playing outside in wooded areas. The symptoms, which include a lot of itching, usually last for around 2 to 3 weeks, making it a real long-lasting summer penis.