Fungal nail infections can be very frustrating. All you want to do is to get rid of them and have a healthy nail (or more of them), but nothing seems to help. The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with this infection is that it’s difficult to manage but recovery is entirely possible.
The first line of defense in most cases is a regular intake of prescribed medications, but there are many treatment options you can do at home. You’ve probably heard good things about Vicks for nail fungus but didn’t know whether they’re true or not. Can it help?
Isn’t Vicks for cold and cough?
Indeed, Vicks Vapor is an over-the-counter mentholated topical ointment created explicitly for the use on the chest, back, and throat for suppression of a cough, the common cold. The ointment can also alleviate minor muscle and joint pains and aches. For cough suppression, Vicks is applied directly to the chest about three times a day. Once applied, it releases vapors that enter the nose and mouth in order to soothe a cough.
While cough management is the initial purpose of Vicks Vapor, the ointment is more versatile than we believe. Some of its other uses include:
- Insect repellent
- Headache relief
- Minimizing stretch marks
- Promotes healing process of bruises
- Alleviates an earache
Vicks Vapor also proves to be effective for persons with fungal infections, particularly those affecting their toenails. In fact, this is one of the most commonly recommended remedies for nail fungus, but it’s natural to be skeptic and wonder whether it really works because fungal infections are incredibly stubborn.
Vicks for nail fungal infections
Nail fungal infections affect toenails primarily, and they occur when fungi overpopulate in, under, or on the nail. The infection thrives in moist and wet areas and is easy to spread if you wear same sweaty boots every day. Some conditions can also increase the risk of fungal infection including diabetes, poor blood flow, and weak immunity.
Vicks Vapor rub for nail fungus is considered an effective at-home treatment for stubborn infection. What’s more, even science confirmed its positive effects! One study enrolled 18 subjects with onychomycosis, nail fungal infection, and followed them in intervals of 4, 8, 12, 24, 36, and 48 weeks. Participants were asked to apply Vicks Vapor regularly. Digital photographs before and after treatment were obtained for an in-depth analysis of the potential efficacy of this ointment.
Results, published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, found that 15 out of 18 participants (83%) experienced positive treatment effect. While 16.7% participants saw no change in their nail fungal infection, 55.6% or 10 subjects had partial clearance while 5 people or 27.8% had a mycological and clinical cure after 48 weeks. Scientists concluded that Vapor Rub has a positive clinical effect for treatment of nail fungal infections.
The ointment has a positive impact on fungal infections due to active ingredients are known for their antifungal properties. Vicks Vapor has three main active ingredients:
- Camphor – a topical anesthetic
- Menthol – just like camphor, it exhibits anesthetic effects when applied to the skin
- Eucalyptus oil – antibacterial and antifungal effects
Besides three active ingredients mentioned above, Vicks Vapor also contains other ingredients including thymol, an extract from the thyme plant which was used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions and infections. Thymol is known for its ability to wipe out fungi and bacteria.
How to use Vicks Vapor?
Now that you know the ointment can aid management of this common problem, you’re probably wondering how to use Vicks Vapor rub for nail fungus for maximum effects. First, make sure your nails are clipped. Before you apply the ointment, wash your hands and feet and dry them thoroughly. Both the infected site and your hands should be clean to avoid introducing new fungi and bacteria back and forth.
Use a spoon to scoop the ointment and apply it all over the infected nail and surrounding skin. Never dip your fingers into the ointment and rub over the nails because you would be transmitting fungi from your nail to the ointment. This would only prevent you from getting better. Carefully massage ointment into the infected site and wait for a few minutes before you use bandage or sock.
Vicks Vapor rub contains ingredients known for their antifungal and antibacterial properties. That explains why the ointment proves to be effective for nail fungal infection. If using Vicks for nail fungus, apply it as described and make sure you do it regularly. The only way to achieve desired effects is to create a routine and apply the ointment on a regular basis, rather than waiting for a few days between applications.