Therapik Kills the Itch

April 16, 2012 By: Kirk Deeter

I recently went on a trip to Guyana to catch arapaima on the fly. I did that, which was a great personal accomplishment, and it will lead to a story you’ll all, hopefully, read later. But beyond the goal of catching the world’s largest scaled freshwater fish on a fly was my personal ambition to get out of the jungle with as few welts and scabs from bug bites as I possibly could.

Almost on a whim, I took this Therapik device (figuring “what the heck”). It’s pretty compact, and runs on a simple 9-volt battery. The theory is that insect venom is “thermolabile,” meaining it is sensitive to heat. You get bit, you put the Therapik on the sensitive area on your skin, and you essentially “nuke” the bad stuff under your skin that makes you itch and scratch for days.

I was a total skeptic, even though I brought this thing with me into the jungle. And I was really good about wearing long-sleeve shirts and slathering DEET all over my body. After all, despite the poisonous snakes and electric eels and all that, it’s the bugs that pose the greatest threats. I was really proud of myself, three days into the trip, because I hadn’t experienced so much as a mosquito bite.

But then I got hit on my foot by some sort of spider. The bump turned red and swelled. So I hit it with the Therapik for 20 seconds. The mark was still there, but the itch was not.  The next day, I found a lump on my arm (I have no idea what got me), but I put the Therapik to it, and not only did the itching cease, the swelling diminished.

Now, I’m not saying that this is a cure-all.  And regardless, prevention is always the best medicine. But if you fish in the jungle—or the Everglades, or the mosquito-filled tundra in Alaska, or even the buggy bogs around your rivers in the Lower 48—there’s something to be said for instant relief that’s better than Calamine lotion. And for $13 retail, Therapik will definitely scratch your itches.