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Alternative Uses for Vicks VapoRub

By Regina Paul ; Updated July 27, 2017

There are only two authorized ways to Vicks VapoRub. The first is for coughing and congestion where it is applied to the chest and neck area, and the second is for minor muscular aches and pains where it is applied topically to the area affected. However, people use Vicks VapoRub for a variety of reasons, some of which can be dangerous, and are not recommended.

Toenail Fungus

While Proctor and Gamble, the company that makes Vicks VapoRub has not done any of their own testing to determine if this product will cure toenail fungus, many ascertain that it does. The idea of using Vicks VapoRub as a toenail fungus cure has been around for a few years as a home remedy. Since many of the drugs used to cure toenail fungus can cause damage to the liver, it is not surprising that there are those who would try Vicks VapoRub. If a person wanted to try Vicks VapoRub to kill their toenail fungus he should apply the ointment several times a day to the clean surface of the affected toenail. Depending on the severity of the fungal infection, it can take anywhere from weeks to months to kill it, and have a new healthy toenail begin growing.

There are two dangers associated with using Vicks VapoRub in this fashion. The first is that the toe fungus may get worse while a person tries a home remedy, and a person would have to consult a physician and use conventional treatments which will now take even longer to heal the affected toe nail. The second is that if there is any opening, no matter how small, in the skin around the affected toenail, a person could accidentally poison themselves by allowing the camphor in the Vicks VapoRub to enter the bloodstream. Camphor is poisonous to humans.

Humidifier

Another way that Vicks VapoRub is used is in humidifiers and vaporizers that are specially made to use Vicks VapoRub or other similar aromatherapy products. Putting Vicks VapoRub in the aromatherapy compartment of a vaporizer or humidifier warms the ingredients and makes them airborne where the sick person can inhale them. There is no danger associated with using Vicks VapoRub in this manner.

Repels Mosquitoes

Another way that Vicks VapoRub can be used is to repel mosquitoes. The reason that Vicks VapoRub works for this is that it contains cedar leaf oil which is a natural insect repellent. Just dab a bit on the ankles, inner elbows, inner wrists, and neck and this will help to keep the mosquitoes from biting. If a person forgot to put the Vicks VapoRub on before going outside, he could still put them on any resulting mosquito bites. The menthol and camphor increase blood circulation and this breaks up the anti-clotting agent that the mosquito injected when it bit a person. This in turn stops the itching. There is a danger to using Vicks VapoRub in this fashion if you put it on a mosquito bite because this could allow the Vicks VapoRub to enter the bloodstream. Vicks VapoRub is not to be taken internally, and this includes through an open wound no matter how small because the camphor is toxic to humans if taken internally. Because of this it is best to only use Vicks VapoRub as an insect repellant before a person goes out, not after a person has already been bitten.

Warnings

Vicks VapoRub has camphor in it, and camphor when taken internally is toxic to humans. This means that a person should not put Vicks VapoRub on hemorrhoids, under the nose, in the nose, in the mouth, or in or near the eyes, as this could cause the body to take camphor in internally, and thus result in camphor poisoning.

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