Therapik Bug Bite Relieving Gadget Review: It Actually Works

Are you being eaten alive by mosquitos? Is the itch driving you completely and utterly insane? Us too! So when we heard about this magic wand that supposedly takes the itch away, we had to call it in to make fun of it.

We, uh... we were wrong.

What Is It?

It's a small handheld wand you use to zap bites to make them stop itching.

Who's It For?

People who encounter mosquitoes, bees, wasps, hornets, black flies, ants, fleas, ticks, chiggers, and even jellyfish and stinging nettle. Not for use with snake or spider bites, sadly.

Design

It looks like a 1960s sci-fi prop. It's a thick remote control with a big, round button. You look at it and instantly think, "There is no way in hell this cheap piece of crap is going to work."

Using It

You put the tip of the Therapik onto your bug bite, then you press and hold down the button. The tip uses light to heat the bite up. You hold it there for as long as you can take it, up to a minute. The burning sensation gets pretty intense after 30 seconds or so.

The Best Part

We honestly never in a million years thought we would be saying this, but it actually works! Mosquito bites (the only thing we tested it with) stopped itching within a few seconds of taking it off, and in most cases they never itched again again. We are officially stunned.

Tragic Flaw

It looks so crappy and bad that most people will dismiss it before ever trying it.

This Is Weird...

Still completely amazed that this works. Like, seriously? Look at it!

Test Notes

  • This thing is actually confirmed by the US Federal Drug Administration to deliver bug bite relief.
  • It's powered by a single 9V battery and has lasted close to a hundred applications so far.
  • It works on the principle that most insect venom is thermolabile (sensitive to heat). Therapik claims to deliver "heat in the precise temperature range necessary to deactivate the venom from over 20,000 different species of insects and sea creatures".
  • It helps to reduce the bite's swelling as well.
  • It's light, but it's just a bit too bulky to be considered "pocket-sized". It will however fit in a small backpack pocket, so it would still be great for camping.
  • If one application doesn't do it, you can reapply as often as you want.
  • Therapik's website certainly doesn't help the "there's no way this isn't BS" factor.
  • If your bites are under your socks, they will chafe when you walk and start itching again.

Should You Buy It?

We can't believe we're saying this, but yes, totally. This thing, despite being ugly and overly bulky, is great. At first we thought it was just psychosomatic, but after a few weeks of testing, we believe it to be legit. Even if you don't believe us (and we don't blame you, because, come on, right?) it'll only cost you $US13 to find out for yourself. [Therapik]

Therapik

• Weight: 113g • Dimensions: 3cm x 3cm x 10cm • Battery: 9V • Price: $US13


Comments

    The ignition system from a deconstructed 'electronic' lighter works wonderfully too, although $13 for a purpose-built implement wouldn't sting too much, I'm sure.

      I agree on this, I've used the spark before on bites with success, I've also heated up a lighter head and used the heat it to sooth the itch, it's not as easy as aeroguard though. I've never been sure however if it's a psychological thing or if maybe it has something to do with the proteins causing the itch breaking down at a certain temperature.

        It's certainly a temperature thing. I used to just use extremely hot water and carefully trickle it onto the effected area. But I'll definitely have to consider this next time.

      I once saw a piezo-electric device similar to the above being sold at a camping store. Would love to see how that kind of thing compares.

        Are you sure it wasn't a high frequency buzzer designed to deter the mozzies?

          Yep, the idea was that you hold it against the bite and "zap" it

    I will try this for sure.

    For what it is worth the little "clickers" that you can get from a number of places these days also seem to work brilliantly.

    They deliver a tiny electric shock ... simply click on the bite (a few times) and after a minute or two the itching stops for about 24 hours.

    Getting a little short on new material? http://gizmodo.com/5935350/therapik-bug-bite-relieving-gadget-review-we-cant-believe-this-actually-works

      Still, I appreciated the article.

      They could always start a 'Best Of Gizmodo' or 'Golden Oldies' section for those articles that are just so good they need to be run twice, or even thrice for good measure.

    I made the electric clicker by myself hacking an empty cigarette lighter. It does the job . :)

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