Consulting The Scientific Research
Itâs time to get science-y.
In 2011, an interesting study researching over-the-counter cures for toenail fungus was published. In this study, researchers used Vicks VapoRub against toenail fungus.
The first thing to note here is there are a few types of toenail fungus. Toenail fungus can be caused by dermatophytes, yeasts, and non-dermatophyte molds.
However, the most common culprit of toenail fungus is the dermatophyte trichophyton rubrum, also known as T. rubrum.
In this study, researchers studied the following toenail fungus:
- T. mentagrophytes
- T. rubrum
- Candida parapsilosis
After 48 weeks, all patients with T. mentagrophytes or Candida parapsilosis toenail fungus went on to a âtotal cureâ.
Remember, T. rubrum is commonly the fungi culprit behind most toenail fungus infections…
Who Suffers From Toenail Fungus
- Do you sweat a lot?
- Do you use a public pool or take communal showers at the gym?
- Do you regularly go to a nail salon to get a manicure or pedicure?
- Do you suffer from diabetes, malnutrition, a weak immune system, or have you smoked for a long time?
Unfortunately, if you answered yes to any of these questions, you are more likely to contract toenail fungus.
What Is Vicks Vaporub
All this talk about Vicks VapoRub, but what actually is this stuff in the first place?
In short: Vicks VapoRub is a #1 selling branded children and adult cough cold product. Well… That is the main use of it anyhow. However, this Proctor & Gamble Company product is a very versatile and also is commonly used for pain relief when applied topically to aching muscles and joints.
Using it as a way to treat toenail fungus is much lesser-known, but nonetheless is something that people are using it for and finding some success with.
And one of the many good things about it is that you can trust it. There are plenty of toenail fungus treatment “scammy” products that have been exposed on this site, like Fungus Hack for example, and VICKS is definitely not one of them.
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How To Use Vicks Vapor Rub For Toenail Fungus
There is an under 40% chance that this method will work on your fungal nails alone, but the odds can increase to perhaps even 50-80% if:
- The area of nail involvement is under 50% of the total nail surface.
- There is no ingrowing of the nails into the skin edges.
- The nail is not painful.
- The skin under and around the nail still looks normal and has not yet become thick.
- No White/yellow or orange/brown streaks in the nail exist.
Vicks Vapor Rub For Toenail Fungus Myth Or Miracle Cure
Is VICKS VapoRub for toenail fungus effective?
There our a lot of home remedies out there for curing toenail fungus, but a lot of them simply do not work. You have apple cider vinegar, Epsom salt baths, all the essential oils, etc.
VICKS Vaper Rub, which is really called the trademark name of VICKS VapoRub, is one of the many cheap treatment options out there that some people suggest But Does It Actually Work?
The answer is YES, at least to some extent… It definitely does have some potential as a treatment option as you will see. And… it’s easy to find in stores and it’s cheap, so of course this is something that a lot of people are going to be interested in, especially when you look at other treatment options which can get pretty darn expensive.
Some statistics say that around 10% of the population has at least some amount of toenail fungus and around 50% of people 70 years old and older have it. It’s a pretty crazy statistic and there is no doubt that toenail fungus is a big problem.
Much of the time it goes away on its own due to the body’s effective immune response, but sometimes it can get out of hand and requires serious attention. Of course you do not want that to happen so treating as soon as possible should be a priority.
Toenail Fungus Explained:
- Thickened nails
- Discoloration, usually whitish or yellowish
- Brittle fractured nails
- Darkened color from all the dead debris
- Bad smells and strange looks from onlookers
Recommended Reading: What Will Kill Toenail Fungus
Continue Using Treatment Until Infection Is Gone
Continue daily use until your nails are healthy. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the infection. Please keep in mind that nail fungus is inherently tricky to deal with. Fungi are extremely good at adapting and thriving in environments. This is why it is vital you apply the treatment every day!
After continued application, the fungi under your nails will turn black. Although this might seem scary at first, it is actually a good thing Vicks Vaporub is killing the fungi! Eventually, the blackened nail will be pushed out by a healthy new nail, and you can clip off the dead part. Do not be discouraged if the treatment takes upwards of a year to treat nail fungus is tricky, especially for more severe cases.
We highly recommend continuing the treatment for a duration of time after the nail fungus infection has subsided. This will ensure that the fungus is completely destroyed, and will minimize the chance of reinfection.
Is There Any Scientific Evidence
Since we have claimed that Vicks VapoRub could be effective as a treatment for toenail fungus, lets take a look at the scientific proof. Although research in this area is limited, the studies that have been performed produced encouraging results.
- A study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine reported that 83% of participants showed positive signs to the treatment. Five patients were completely cured, and 10 showed partial relief while only three people showed no change. Vicks was applied daily over a period of 48 weeks.
The conclusion was that Vicks VapoRub seems to have a positive clinical effect on the treatment of onychomycosis. However, given there were only 18 participants, the study is not considered as conclusive proof the findings are accurate.
- In 2016, the Journal of the Association of Nurses in Aids Care also tested Vicks on HIV Aids patients that were suffering from nail fungus. Onychomycosis is common in Aids patients on account of a weak immune system which puts them at risk of serious side effects when taking pharmaceutical treatments such as Lamisil and Sporanox.
Again, the study only involved 18 participants. Vicks treatment was administered over a period of 24 weeks. Fifteen patients experienced improvement and did not suffer from any side effects.
Also Check: What Really Gets Rid Of Toenail Fungus
Vicks Vaporub And Its Ingredients
Vicks VapoRub is a household ointment, and it is commonly designed for cough and cold suppression. But some studies show that some of the ingredients can help treat toenail fungus.
Vicks ingredients are made of camphor, menthol, cedar leaf oil, some nutmeg oils, turpentine oil, eucalyptus oil, and petrolatum. And these oils are believed to be the best of the best in treating nail fungus.
Also, it has been passed on generations to generations in every household. It can also be used to treat ear infections, athletes foot, and hemorrhoids.
How Does Vicks Vaporub Work On Toenail Fungus
Although scientific evidence is not conclusive, it is believed Vicks can be an effective agent against foot fungus due to active ingredients which work in harmony to destroy toenail fungus.
These key ingredients are known to have antifungal properties which impede the growth of fungus. When fungi are not able to flourish, the infection weakens. Eventually, the infection stops spreading and will disappear altogether.
However, the fungus doesnt die off. As a new nail grows in, it pushes out the infected nail and takes the fungal infection with it. You are then left with healthy, fungal-free toes.
However, it has also been reported that once you stop using Vicks VapoRub, the fungus can grow back. This, of course, could be a marketing ploy, so you buy the salve over the course of a lifetime.
However, the science behind toenail fungus is a strong indication that you should continue using fungal treatments until you are certain the infection has disappeared.
Even still, Vicks also boasts a raft of other essential oils which are known for helping to fight infections and promote healthy skin, reduce inflammation and ease muscle pain. VapoRub can be more beneficial to your feet than just as an antifungal ointment.
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How Vicks Vaporub Treats Toenail Fungus
The exact mechanism by which Vicks VapoRub works on toenail fungus is not clear yet, but, a lot of health experts do believe that thymol is the one that does the trick here.
Thymol is an herb a derivative of thyme essential oil. It has proven anti-microbial oil properties. It can inhibit the fungi responsible for toenail fungus. Its ability to kill Candida are also well recognized. There are proven research studies to approve its effectiveness.
According to a research study published in the journal Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy, Dec 2008 issue 1% concentration of Thyme essential oil can effectively inhibit the growth of fungi responsible for nail infection.
Another research study quoted in the journal Mycoses, Nov 2007 issue concludes that Thyme essential oil inhibit Candida by destroying its cell membranes and metabolism.
Camphor is a white waxy material with a strong odor. It is readily absorbed by the skin and used to treat various skin infections when applied externally. It should not be used on open wounds and cuts as it can enter your bloodstream which can prove toxic.
Eucalyptus essential oil is an anti-inflammatory oil with anti-oxidant properties. When applied locally, it improves the respiratory circulation to increase the blood flow.
Menthol stimulates the cold-sensitive nerves of your skin to provide a cooling effect. It eases pain and itching to provide an analgesic effect.
How Do I Know If My Toenail Fungus Is Going Away
Nail fungus can be resistant to treatment and nails take a long time to grow out, so it can take several weeks or months for an infection to be fully resolved. You will know that the treatment is working and the infection is clearing up when you see growth of a new, healthy nail from the base of the nail bed.
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Does Vicks Work For Athletes Foot
Several home remedies can be effective for treating athletes foot. Some of the properties in Vicks VapoRub are known to be an effective agent when fighting foot fungus such as athletes foot, and some users have reported positive results.
There does seem to be some merit in using Vicks VapoRub to treat toenail fungus. Given the salve is not expensive, readily available and does not have any side effects for most people, there is no harm in trying it.
However, as with any home remedy, there is no guarantee it will work. Furthermore, once you stop using the salve, there is a risk that the fungal infection will return, which suggest Vicks VapoRub may not kill fungus but merely prevents the infection from growing and spreading.
Pros And Cons Of Vicks Vaporub For Toenail Fungus
It does seem that a number of people have found some relief from this difficult problem by using Vicks. On the plus side, it has minimal side effects relative to the traditional treatment methods and is a product that is both easy to find and inexpensive to buy.
However, Vicks has been shown to be ineffective for the majority of people even when used for extended periods of time and the longer you use any treatment, the more costly it becomes. Some individuals have found that it irritates the skin surrounding the nail and are bothered by the strong smell. It seems that even in the best of circumstances, treating toenail fungus with Vicks is just a temporary stop gap as the infection generally returns once the treatment has been stopped. The bottom line is that like all home remedies, it is wise to proceed with a healthy dose of caution and a little bit of common sense when considering Vicks Vapor Rub for the treatment of toenail fungus.
Visit our main website to get a broader and deeper picture about the different treatments available to get rid of toenail fungus fast.
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Vicks Vaporub May Actually Cure Toenail Fungus
A new study shows that Vicks VapoRub may actually cure toenail fungus.
Vicks VapoRub was applied daily to toenails that were infected with fungus. After 48 weeks of treatment 100% of the patients were satisfied with their improvement and more than 25% were considered cured.
I have recommended Vicks VapoRub occasionally to my patients for this problem, but I usually them that it doesnt seem to work for for severe cases. The study may be making a liar out of me. Photos show that some of the cases that were cured were pretty bad. Apparently, longer treatment yields better results. And it sure beats the alternative. The standard treatment is a course of anti-fungal pills that needs to be taken for up to six months. This treatment can cause liver damage and rarely seems to provide a long term cure.
For people who are willing to stick with it, Vicks VapoRub appears to be a useful treatment for toenail fungus at least until the FDA approves something safer and equally effective.
Are There Any Side Effects Or Risks
Vicks VapoRub does not have any damaging side effects when used as a treatment for toenail fungus. At worst, people with skin that is allergic or sensitive to the ingredients of Vicks may experience some irritation or mild burning.
In contrast, conventional medicines that are prescribed by doctors and are FDA-approved treatments for fungal infections have been known to have severe side effects.
For example, Lamisil, the most common prescription can cause side effects such as diarrhea, fatigue, and fevers. You may experience loss of vision, liver damage, nausea, stomach pain, skin rashes and experience difficulties with your breathing.
When doctors prescribe oral anti-fungal medications, you also have to take regular blood tests to make sure you are not suffering from side effects. It is also becoming more common to use pulse dosing which involves taking a drug daily for one week a month for several months.
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Vicks Vaporub Stories And Experiences From Readers Over The Years:
Tom N. touts the house brand at lower cost:
My solution was simple and no fuss. I rubbed Walmart house brand version of VapoRub on toenail, uncovered, each night before retiring. After 5 months the fungus has grown out the end of the nail.
Disclosure: I am not a shill for Walmart.
We have no opinion as to the quality of generic Vicks VapoRub. The relatively low cost of either the name brand or the house brand does not make this a big issue for us. Keep in mind that a jar will last a long time, even with daily applications.
Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
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What Are The Ingredients In Vicks That Fight Fungus
The main fungus-fighting ingredient in Vicks VapoRub is thymol, an oil that comes from Thyme.
Vicks VapoRub contains antifungal ingredient thymol, which is an oil that comes from thyme. Thats right, the herb hanging out on your spice rack might also be able to help cure your toenail fungal infection . But in addition, the camphor and menthol are also effective in preventing nail fungus.
Thymol is quite well known in research studies for its antifungal properties . Its been found effective against dermatophytes, and against numerous kinds of fungus, including Escherichia Coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Bacillus cereus . But for the purposes of nail fungus its important that its been shown in several studies to work against Candida albicans, one of the fungi responsible for nail fungus .
For this reason, thymol is regularly recommended to those who work in food service and regularly works with their nails in the sort o moist conditions that can help fungus flourish .
The camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol arent as effective as thymol at fighting fungus they have been shown to help work against toenail fungus pathogens in studies .
If I Apply Vaseline Regularly Will My Toenail Fungus Be Cured
No, Vaseline cant cure it. There are no scientific pieces of evidence to back this solution, but it definitely helps with the treatment or relieves the symptoms.
You can try this treatment alongside your medicines or consider it a home remedy.
Miracles do happen but you must consider the fact that vaseline is just an ointment. If the fungus has already entered your bloodstream, you may need to take medicines only.
In such cases, vaseline can only heal the upper layer of the skin.
Recommended Reading: Will Vinegar Kill Toe Fungus
Apply Vicks Vaporub To Your Nails
Apply the formula directly to the nails, nail bed, and skin surrounding it. We recommend using a cotton ball or q-tip. Please do not use your hands you do not want to expose your fingernails to the infection and risk contaminating your hands or fingernails.
Wait upwards of 30 minutes and then wash off and dry nails completely. If you experience a mild burning sensation, stop treatment immediately and consult your doctor.