It’s finally summer but that brings one of the year’s most annoying problems: mosquito bites. If you do fall victim to a bee sting or mosquito bite, you can easily relieve the itching and redness with the help of Vick’s Vapo Rub.
Vicks VapoRub is effective at alleviating discomfort and itchiness from insect bites, particularly those from mosquitoes. Moreover, the product’s strong scent is known to keep mosquitoes away. So, it works as both a preventative measure and an effective treatment for mosquito bites.
According to NYC dermatologist Dr. Neal Schultz, host of DermTV.com and creator of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz, there’s some solid science behind this homeopathic remedy.
“Three of the ingredients (menthol, camphor, and thymol) are topical analgesics,” he explained. “They create a cooling sensation and stop the itching.”
The VapoRub was also responsible for flatting each bite, thanks to the formula’s nutmeg oil. This essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as pain-relieving and redness-reducing benefits. (That’s why it makes such a good at-home acne treatment.) Finally, the cedar leaf oil in Vicks acts as a natural mosquito repellent!
To apply Vicks VapoRub to a mosquito or other itchy insect bite, wash your hands thoroughly, then clean and dry the area around the bite as well. With the tip of your finger, a Q-Tip, or cotton ball, dab a small amount of the ointment on the irritating spot. Gently rub the ointment into the skin until it is completely absorbed. You should begin to feel some relief instantaneously. If the bite begins to bother you again after the initial application, you can reapply the ointment as often as needed.
As with any other medication, Vicks VapoRub should be used as directed on the label, and close attention should be paid to any listed warnings. Since the ointment is a topical one, it must be used externally (on the skin only), and never ingested.
The only common side effect associated with the typical use of Vicks ointment is skin irritation or reddening of the area where it has been applied. If this occurs, you should discontinue use of the product and choose another effective mosquito bite remedy.
Vicks VapoRub has been recommended (medically and otherwise) for a variety of different conditions such as cold prevention when applied to the feet, treatment of toenail fungus, amongst other ailments. Due to its practicality, it is a good idea to keep some on hand in your medicine cabinet. The inexpensive generic brands usually contain the same active ingredients and work just as well.
This tip comes from a victim of mosquito bites:
Not too long ago, my boyfriend and I went to the Dominican Republic to visit his family. After just one evening (despite sleeping under a netted canopy!), my legs were covered in huge, blotchy marks that were nearly impossible to resist itching.
After seeing all my bites, my boyfriend’s mother passed me a tub of Vicks VapoRub, swearing it would cure them. I was pretty apprehensive but I tried out the remedy on a few spots, mostly out of respect to my potential mother-in-law. To my great surprise, not only was the itching quickly soothed, but each bump faded in a few short days! Turns out the product is used for many ailments in DR, including headaches, fevers, toenail fungus, and more. (It reminded me a lot of Windex in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.)
Sometimes moms really do know best — I’ll never go on another tropical vacation without stashing a jar in my suitcase.