Did you know there are many alternative uses for Vicks VapoRub? It turns out Vicks cures everything! In addition to using Vicks to help relieve chest congestion when you have a cough or cold, there are many home remedies that Vicks can be used for. Vicks can be used for skin ailments like athletes foot, eczema or toe nail fungus. It can even be used as a bug repellent and help relieve sore muscles. Read on to learn all the weird uses for Vicks VapoRub.
Table of contents
- What can Vicks cure? 20 Alternative uses for Vicks Vaporub
- Is Vicks VapoRub dangerous?
- Can you use Vicks on your face?
- What does rubbing Vicks on your feet do?
- Vicks for other skin conditions
- First Aid Uses for Vicks VapoRub
- Household uses for Vicks VapoRub
What can Vicks cure? 20 Alternative uses for Vicks Vaporub
Most of us have memories of Vicks VapoRub from our childhood. Do you remember when you were young and suffering from a cold or flu and one of your parents or grandparents would rub Vicks on your chest to help relieve your chest congestion and help stop you from coughing?
Last winter we started using Vicks on my daughter when she was sick. She kind of got obsessed with the stuff and enjoyed getting her fingers in the little blue jar and rubbing it all over her skin.
Vicks is sold as a cough suppressant and topical analgesic but it turns out there are a ton of secret uses for it.
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The active ingredients in Vicks are:
- Camphor- Oil is extracted from the wood of camphor trees and processed by steam distillation. It can be used topically to relieve pain, irritation, and itching.
- Menthol- A crystalline compound with a cooling minty taste and odor, found in peppermint and other natural oils. It is used as a flavoring and in decongestants and analgesics.
- Eucalyptus- A fast-growing evergreen tree native to Australia. As an ingredient in many products, it is used to reduce symptoms of coughs, colds, and congestion. It is also featured in creams and ointments aimed at relieving muscle and joint pain.
I recently brought home a couple of jars from the store and proclaimed to my husband, “Vicks cures everything!”
I got excited listing off all the uses for Vicks that we hadn’t thought of before. Make sure you pick up a jar or two on your next shopping trip and put some your medicine cabinet and first aid kit.
Is Vicks VapoRub dangerous?
Vicks is generally safe but it should not be used on children younger than two. If swallowed in large amounts it can be poisonous.
The main concern is little kids getting into the jar and consuming large amounts of it. Always make sure to keep medicine and other things that could harm kids out of arms reach.
Can you use Vicks on your face?
Yes, you can use it on your face! If you want to apply Vicks VapoRub on your face just make sure that you don’t put it close to your eyes, otherwise the menthol can overwhelm your face and your eyes may water.
Does Vicks get rid of pimples?
The menthol in Vicks acts as a natural antiseptic and makes it an effective treatment for acne flare ups. Its potential to reduce swelling is why some people feel like Vicks VapoRub works on pimples. If you have moderate to severe acne, it may make more sense for you to try other treatments like Proactive or Curology so you can have clear skin, but for the occasional pimple or breakout, Vicks can help.
What will happen if you put Vicks on your lips?
A small amount of Vicks applied to sore, dry or cracked lips can help to soothe the skin and leave your lips soft and moisturized. It feels a lot like a nice, minty lip balm.
If fact, one of the main ingredients in Vicks is camphor, which is also an active ingredient in Carmex- a lip balm designed to help alleviate cold sores.
Be careful to not ingest the VapoRub. Like I mentioned previously, it can be toxic in large doses (just like every other product).
What does rubbing Vicks on your feet do?
One of the original uses for Vicks is to help stop coughing and chest congestion. There is an old wives tale that states that rubbing Vicks on your feet will help to stop coughing at night and ease the pain of a cold or flu.
There is actually no evidence to support this but some people swear it works. The benefits of slathering Vicks on your feet before bed are likely mostly psychological. Inhaling the menthol and eucalyptus while you are rubbing it on your skin can be beneficial and putting it on your feet won’t hurt you, so why not try it?
Can Vicks heal cracked feet?
If you suffer from dry, cracked heels apply a thick layer of Vicks to your feet before bed. Massage it in for a few minutes and then put on socks. When you wake up in the morning your feet will be soft and smooth.
Use a pumice stone while you are in the shower to help slough off dead skin and callouses and then apply another thin layer of Vicks (careful not to fall because your feet will be slippery).
Can Vicks VapoRub cure athlete’s foot?
Eucalyptus oil and menthol, both of which have antifungal properties can help heal athletes foot. If your athletes foot flare up is really bad I recommend purchasing anti fungal ointment specifically for athletes foot. If you don’t have access to a special ointment Vick’s can definitely help in a pinch.
Can Vicks treat toenail fungus?
Use Vicks VapoRub as an ointment and apply it on the affected toenail every night before going to sleep. Cover the nail with gauze and then put on socks. Repeat this procedure as your nail grows out. Cut off the affected part and keep trimming the nail until the fungus is gone. You have to be sure your toenail is completely dry before applying Vicks VapoRub. Damp areas under your nails can harbor bacteria and grow more fungus.
Vicks for other skin conditions
Treat psoriasis and eczema
Eczema and psoriasis can be itchy and painful. Get relief by rubbing a small amount onto the affected area. Vicks will help reduce inflammation and itchiness.
Treat a dry scalp
Treat the affected area by taking a thin layer of Vick’s and rubbing it onto the dry parts of your scalp. Do this before you go to bed. If you do it after you have a shower it can make your hair look greasy. The oil from the eucalyptus and the petroleum work together as a salve for your scalp.
First Aid Uses for Vicks VapoRub
Relieve sore muscles with Vicks
The menthol in Vicks not only feels refreshing cool to your skin, but it can also help improve blood circulation. Grab some Vicks and rub it onto any areas that are experiencing soreness. Have a partner or friend rub it into areas on your back that you can’t reach.
The cool feeling you get from Vicks is perfect for relief from a bad sunburn. Just rub some of it on the affected area and next time don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
Diminish the look of bruises
Vicks can help heal a nasty bruise. Add a pinch of salt into a dab of Vicks and gently rub it onto any areas of skin that are bruised. It will help to break up the bruise and your skin will return to normal in no time!
Non-Toxic bug repellent
Apply a thin layer of VapoRub to exposed skin, and it will repel annoying insects like mosquitoes. This is perfect for camping or when traveling through humid areas. The strong scent will deter bugs biting you.
If you run out of Neosporin, use VapoRub as a replacement. Clean the wound and then spread a thin layer around the area and cover with a bandage. The Vicks will help accelerate the healing process and protect against germs and bacteria.
Household uses for Vicks VapoRub
Train your pets
If you have a problem with your pet marking its territory around the house or a puppy that isn’t fully potty trained, grab an open container of Vicks VapoRub and place it in an area that your pet often tries to mark. The strong scent will help to deter them from the area and help them learn not to do their business inside.
Save your furniture from your cat’s claws
You can stop your cat from scratching up items in your home by applying a little bit of VapoRub on it. Your cat will want to avoid the smell at all costs. Test the Vicks on a small area to make sure it won’t stain or ruin fabrics.
Silence a squeaky door
If you have a door that squeaks when it opens or closes, try using Vick’s VapoRub. It acts as a good emergency replacement for WD-40.
What’s your favorite way to use Vicks? Let me know in the comments!