Q. I’ve just read about the “hot water” remedy for mosquito bites. I too seem to be a mosquito magnet and have found Vicks VapoRub is a magical remedy. I have no idea how or why it works, but it does! A little dab rubbed on and around the bite not only soothes the itch but takes the swelling down as well.
Can you explain this?
A. Others have told us that Vicks VapoRub can ease itching from mosquito bites. We tracked down a review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (Nov., 2007) suggesting that menthol (an ingredient in Vicks) has been used since antiquity to ease itching. It works by affecting itch receptors in the skin. These same receptors react to the pain caused by very cold temperature.