Vicks VapoRub has been around for over 100 years and is one of the most widely used over-the-counter decongestants.
The mentholated topical cream is commonly used on the chest, back and throat for treating nasal congestion and coughs.
Its medicinal properties come from its active ingredients, including camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol. It also contains other inactive ingredients, such as cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil and lemon fragrance.
Apart from being used to treat nasal congestion and coughs, Vicks VapoRub has an array of other surprising uses.
Here are 10 surprising uses of Vicks VapoRub you’ve never heard of.
1. Treats Headaches
For quick relief from tension or sinus headaches, you simply need to take out your bottle of Vicks VapoRub. It can even help treat a migraine headache.
The basic ingredients in it – camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol – all help in treating headaches.
For tension headaches, rub some Vicks VapoRub on your temples and forehead, and massage gently for quick pain relief.
2. Relieves Achy Muscles
To soothe sore, overworked and achy muscles, Vicks VapoRub is a quick solution.
The menthol in it increases blood circulation and provides quick relief to achy muscles.
- Rub a generous amount of Vicks VapoRub over the muscles that are causing pain.
- Massage gently for 5 minutes.
- Wrap the area with a dry, warm towel.
- Lie down for some time to allow the balm to do its work.
- Repeat this remedy 2 or 3 times a day.
3. Soothes Insect Bites
Whether you suffer from chigger, ant, mosquito or any other insect bites, Vicks VapoRub can provide instant relief from the itchiness and burning sensation.
The cooling menthol in Vicks soothes the itching sensation. It also reduces the risk of blisters and infections.
- Wash the area with cool water.
- Take some Vicks VapoRub, add a little table salt to it and mix thoroughly.
- Apply it to the affected area.
- Repeat again if needed.
4. Combats Toenail Fungus
To keep your feet happy and free from toenail fungus, you can use a jar of Vicks VapoRub as an effective remedy.
The ingredient thymol in Vicks aids in inhibiting growth of the fungus, possibly due to its antiseptic, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found Vicks VapoRub to have a positive clinical effect in the treatment of onychomycosis.
- Apply Vicks on the infected toenail, cover with a gauze and put on your socks.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until your nail turns dark and the toenail grows out.
- Finally, cut off the dark part.
- Keep applying Vicks for another couple of weeks in order to get rid of any remaining fungus and bacteria.
Note: Make sure your toenail is completely dry before putting Vicks on it.
5. Clears Acne
The jar of Vicks VapoRub that you have in your home can help clear up an acne problem. This is, in fact, one of the easiest home remedies for acne.
The menthol in it can provide quick relief from pain and swelling. It will also aid in clearing up the acne within a matter of days.
- Apply a small amount of Vicks VapoRub on the affected area.
- Leave it on for about 30 minutes.
- Rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat 3 times daily for a few days until your skin is free of acne.
6. Treats Cracked Heels
To keep your heels healthy, smooth and free from unsightly cracks, Vicks VapoRub is just the right ingredient to consider.
Due to its menthol, camphor and turpentine oil content, this ointment helps trap in moisture and heal cracked heels.
- Before going to bed, soak your feet in lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
- Scrub the cracked areas with a pumice stone for a couple of minutes to get rid of dead skin cells.
- Wash the area with clean water and pat dry thoroughly.
- Rub some Vicks on your feet and heels, and massage gently.
- Put on your socks and wear them overnight.
- The next morning, wash your feet with warm water.
- Repeat this every night until your cracked heels are completely healed.
7. Repels Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are the carrier of many deadly diseases, such as dengue and malaria. If you want to keep mosquitoes away, Vicks VapoRub acts as the best eco-friendly mosquito repellent. It’s also less expensive than commercial repellents available in the market.
- Rub Vicks VapoRub on your neck, inner knees, elbows, behind your ears and other exposed areas to prevent mosquito bites.
- You can also open the bottle of Vicks and put it on your outdoor table to keep mosquitoes at bay.
If you do get bitten by mosquitoes, rub some Vicks on the area and leave it on for a few minutes to relieve itching.
8. Treats Warts
Vicks is also great for treating warts, especially periungual warts. The methanol, thymol and eucalyptus oil content in it helps kill the virus causing warts. These compounds also help shrink and dry out warts.
Generously apply Vicks VapoRub on the affected area, cover with a gauze and wear socks, or simply cover with duct tape. Leave it on for a few hours or even overnight. Repeat daily for about a week or until the wart falls off.
Note: Before you apply Vicks VapoRub, make sure your feet are completely dry.
9. Aids in Pet Training
If you have a mischievous cat or dog who scratches your doors, couch and other furniture, you can use Vicks VapoRub to prevent them from scratching.
Pets do not like the odor of Vicks VapoRub and they will avoid it. Simply apply a small amount of VapoRub to areas where your pets have a tendency to scratch a lot. The smell will discourage them from scratching the item.
You can also use Vicks VapoRub to help potty train your pet. Put an open bottle of Vicks on the areas that your pet likes to mark as their territory and they will steer clear of it.
10. Diminishes Stretch Marks
To reduce visibility of ugly stretch marks, instead of spending money on expensive creams and lotions, try using Vicks VapoRub.
Its methanol and eucalyptus oil content helps fade stretch marks naturally. The cedar leaf oil, petrolatum, camphor and turpentine oil aid in reducing skin dryness that makes stretch marks stand out.
Also, it has the anti-inflammatory property of eucalyptus, which helps lighten stretch marks as well as other minor scars.
- Rub a small amount of VapoRub on the skin where you have visible stretch marks.
- Massage in circular motions for a minute.
- Do it twice daily for a few weeks to get noticeable results.