Not too long ago, my boyfriend and I went to the Dominican Republic to visit his family. “They bite foreigners more than natives,” my boyfriend warned, and he was.
After seeing all my bites, my boyfriend’s mother passed me a tub of Vicks VapoRub ($ 5), swearing it would cure them. I was pretty apprehensive. I seem to be particularly sensitive to mosquitoes, because each of my bites turns into a quarter-sized welt that mars my skin for over a week. I tried out the remedy on a few spots, mostly out of respect to my potential mother-in-law. Find more on mosquito treatment.
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.).
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. The cedarleaf oil in Vicks acts as a natural mosquito repellent!