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Does Vicks Kill Nail Fungus

Clinical Trial With Vicks Vaporub

The Right Way To Use Vicks Vaporub for Toenail Fungus – Toenail Fungus Cure

A clinical trial published in the February 2011 “The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine” suggests that VapoRub may be effective in treating some cases of toenail fungus 4. In this study, 18 participants were treated with Vicks VapoRub and followed over 48 weeks. Five of study participants experienced a cure and 10 had improvement of their symptoms. Cultures of the toenails before and after treatment verified that the fungus had been eradicated in those who were cured. Of the 5 people with a cure, only 2 species of fungus were identified — Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Candida parapsilosis. This suggests that treatment effectiveness may depend on the specific type of fungus present. As of the time of publication, there have been no other published clinical studies to support or refute these data.

  • A clinical trial published in the February 2011 “The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine” suggests that VapoRub may be effective in treating some cases of toenail fungus 4.
  • In this study, 18 participants were treated with Vicks VapoRub and followed over 48 weeks.

Can Vicks Cure Nail Fungus

To answer this question there is no better way than to look for clinical studies that were made to see if vicks is an effective treatment for toenail fungus. In April 2003 publication of phytotherapy research stated that vapo rub kills fungus due to combination of its antifungal ingredients namely camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oil.

In 2011 there were two pilot studies, the first one was conducted by journal of the american board of family medicine on people with infected nails and the results shown that 15 out of 18 participants got rid of nail fungal infection after applying vicks vapo rub daily for 48 weeks and the other study found that vicks has positive clinical effect against nail fungus.

Journal of the association of nurses in AIDS care conducted a study in 2016 on people with AIDS whose immune system were compromised by the disease and the results shown that daily application of vicks vapo rub kills toenail fungus safely and effectively. In a study conducted by Michigan state university clinicians it was found that vaporub cleared fungal infection of more than 50% of participants in less than a year.

Lastly we heard many success stories of people using vicks at least once a day to clear their nails again. My conclusion is that these small scale studies have shown how effective vapo-rub is against yeast candida, molds and dermatophytes which are common causes of nail fungus.

  • Spirits Of Turpentine

Other Readers And The Vicks Vaporub Cure

Larry says it takes patience!

I have toenail fungus on my left big toe. I tried many treatments for it, but nothing worked. I tried Vicks VapoRub. I kept using it almost every day for about three months. I would put a bandage over the Vicks and the nail so the goo wouldnt rub off on my socks. Patience is the key. Slowly it is clearing up, and the nail is already starting to come back to its normal color.

Jean offered this perspective on the Vicks VapoRub cure:

I have had a fingernail fungus which seemed to defy all pharmaceutical remedies. I read somewhere on the web that Vicks VapoRub rubbed onto the nail twice a day would cure it. Because of the mess and smell I smeared a small amount of Vicks onto a plaster, twice a day, and wrapped my finger tip.

Occasionally I dropped Tea Tree Oil on the nail before applying the Vicks. Within two months the fungus was gone. I am now waiting for the nail to grow out.

We write about many more approaches for nail fungus and other common conditions in our book, The Peoples Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies. It is available in our bookstore.

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Why Does It Work A Look At The Ingredients

In order to answer the question of why does VICKS work?… we first need to take a look at the ingredients it contains.

It has some proof of working, so what it is exactly that makes it effective?

The ingredients included in the normal VICKS VapoRub include the following:

Active Ingredients

  • Used commonly for pain relief, anti-irritant, against coughs, and yes… even as an antifungal.
  • Reduces pain and swelling and increases blood flow when applied topically.
  • 2014 study published in the journal Biological Research shows it does indeed have antifungal activity, although not particularly when dealing with toenail fungus. It has been shown to inhibit growth of fungi better than other essential oils.
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Commonly used for coughs, clearing the chest, as a disinfectant, helping control blood sugar, joint pain, against infections and more.
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • 2015 study in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research took 22 participants with toenail fungus and tested the application of eucalyptus oil. The results were that 86% saw superficial nail fungus clear up within 4 months and those with subungual and proximal subungual onychomycosis also saw decent results.
  • Menthol
  • Used to reduce inflammation, sooth cuts/burns, for respiratory problems, etc
  • Cool soothing properties that give a very relieving feeling.
  • Shown to inhibit fungal growth, as stated in Journal de Mycologie Medicale.
  • Inactive Ingredients

    • Turpentine oil

    The Price Certainly Doesn’t Get Any Better

    Does Vicks Vaporub Kill Toenail Fungus?

    If you are going to try a treatment for toenail fungus then one thing you definitely have to consider is the price… and the price here is pretty darn good fortunately.

    A 1.76 oz little tub usually costs somewhere around $5-6 and you can pick it up at any Walmart, Walgreen’s, CVS, and plenty other stores.

    That is a very cheap treatment and I’m sure you are well aware of that if you have been searching for treatments for any good length of time.

    There are some rather ridiculously priced toenail fungus treatments out there that show less promising results than VICKS.

    *Emuaid MAX is a more expensive topical treatment, but is something else you may want to read about. It is one of the very few toenail fungus treatments that we recommend here at Operation Wellness.

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    Vicks For Nail Fungus Reviews

    I am more than happy because all I can say it works, at least for me. It has been six weeks of use and discoloration is almost gone and about a quarter of an inch of a smooth, healthy looking, fungus-free nail with a natural color is growing out from the cuticle. It just costs pennies in a dollar compared to expensive medication out there. Ken

    Let me share my personal experience with this simple yet effective treatment. I used to rub vicks on my affected toenail before bedtime and wore socks to bed and to my surprise my nail was beautiful again in just 5 months. Nick

    I have only been using this for a week now in the morning and evening and I can confidently say there is a noticeable difference in the appearance of my toenail fungus. Sarah

    After trying many treatments on my fungal nail infection but to no avail I resorted to vapour rub and it restored the health of both my feet and nails without using oral medicines. Angel

    Before I got rid of my fungal nail I tried many medications without getting the results I was expecting until I came across this life saver. I share my whole store at review of zetaclear and I was about to go to nail salons that treat fungus.

    What Did The New York Times Article Say

    Researchers have been studying the effects of the herb, thyme, on curing toenail fungusa condition that, while not normally harmful, eats up an expectedly large portion of Americans medical bills every year. Over-the-counter medications for eliminating nail fungus are plagued with drawbacks: Theyre expensive, dont have great results, and have a whole slew of side effects. Heres what The New York Times had to say in 2009 about the research surrounding the use of herbal remedies such as thyme to treat dermatophytesa common type of fungi that humans contract from contact with other humans, animals, and soil.

    In one study, scientists tested the antifungal effects of the ingredients in a generic medicated chest rub. Of the seven ingredients, thymol was among the most effective at inhibiting the growth of dermatophytes that cause nail fungus. Other studies in animals have also shown thymol oil to be effective against dermatophytes. And studies have also shown that thymol oil destroys another cause of nail fungus, Candida, by disrupting its cell membranes and metabolism.

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    Does Vicks Vaporub Really Work

    Nobody has been able to prove that Vicks VapoRub is an effective treatment for toenail fungus. Although research has been conducted, testing has been limited, albeit positive.

    Due to the lack of clinical evidence, the Food and Drug Administration have not added Vicks VapoRub to their approved list of treatments for fungal infections. At present, anecdotal evidence is the most we have to go on.

    Medicines that are approved by the FDA are not exactly the best treatments either. Lamisil is the most successful drug for treating onychomycosis but still has less than a 50% cure rate. In a 12-week study, only 38% of patients reported improvements. This increased to 49% after 18 weeks.

    The danger with Lamisil, however, is that patients can have serious side effects. Furthermore, FDA-approved prescription medicines can interfere with other commonly used medications, such as antibiotics. They also have to be taken over an extended period of time.

    Medical professionals acknowledge that fungal infections are notoriously difficult to treat. Typical healing times take over a year, and anything up to 18 months to completely disappear. Furthermore, there is also a possibility the fungal infection will return once you stop treatment.

    Therefore, religiously rubbing Vicks to your toes could prove as effective as any other treatment but without the side effects.

    Vicks Vaporub Stories And Experiences From Readers Over The Years:

    Does Vicks Vaporub work for fungus nails?

    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.

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    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.

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    So Can Vicks Vaporub Kill Toenail Fungus

    How To Use Vicks Vapor Rub Cure Toenail Fungus

    While the study concluded positively, stating âVicks VapoRub seems to have a positive clinical effect in the treatment onychomycosisâ itâs clear it only works for some.

    Since most toenail infections are caused by T. rubrum, itâs not likely Vicks VapoRub can help kill your infection. However, if your infection is yeast-based or due to T. mentagrophytes it might help.

    One clear limitation to this study is the lack of patient follow-up after product use stops. Considering nail fungus infections easily and quickly reoccur after treatment, itâs quite difficult to consider it a âcureâ if it reoccurs.

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    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.

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    Amber Listerine & White Vinegar:

    Jen says Listerine and vinegar are her go-to solution:

    I used tea tree oil faithfully for several years with some improvement. Also oregano oil, recommended as stronger than tea tree oil and quite expensive. Again, some improvement. I tried the Vicks with socks at night, but I dont like sleeping with socks.

    Then I began one hour per week of soaking in water with lots of white vinegar. I had immediate success the fungus cleared almost completely and quickly.

    Since then I have continued the weekly soaks with vinegar and the amber Listerine and no water one hour while sitting at the computer. I wonder if there is more than one kind of fungus since the tea tree oil was only somewhat successful, while the vinegar was much better for me. If there is more than one kind of fungus, that would explain why different strokes for different folks seems to be a key factor.

    Incidentally, the weeds in my garden do not like vinegar so I just dump my used soaking mixture there I have lots of weeds to use it on! And it works.

    We have lost count of the number of people who insist that when all else fails, white vinegar and Listerine foot soaks do the job. We are not surprised. Listerine has a good dose of alcohol and other ingredients that attack fungi.

    Vinegar also makes the environment inhospitable to fungi. It does take the kind of patience that Jen describes to work the magic.

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    Is There Any Real Proof That It Works

    Let’s get right to the point here… is there any proof that this stuff actually works? Because I’m sure a lot of people reading this have wasted a lot of time, patience and money trying things that simply turn out to be complete duds.

    Does it really work?

    Well… when it comes to the effectiveness of VICK’s specifically dealing with nail fungus, there unfortunately isn’t much research out there. That said, there is some…

    A study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine in 2011 took a look at the effects of VICKS on 18 patients who were suffering from onychomycosis over a period of 48 weeks .

    The results were measured in 3 ways. They measured its effectiveness as a cure both mycologically and clinically, as well as on a personal assessment by the patients themselves.

    The results: 15 of the 18 patients, or a whopping 83%, showed positive effects. And… 5 of the patients, or 27.8%, had been cured based on mycological and clinical results after the 48 weeks were up. 10 patients, or 55.6%, had infections that cleared up partially and only 3 had no change.

    All in all… pretty good results.

    Lack of proof?

    As stated, there really isn’t much information and research out there specifically on VICKS VapoRub’s effectiveness when it comes to this.

    The study mentioned above definitely proves some effectiveness and has some positives, however there has been some criticism as to the way this study was conducted, which might make it carry a little less weight.

    Home Remedies To Tackle Toenail Fungus


    The problem with home remedies is that there is nothing stopping people from promoting a treatment for something that not only doesnt work but can actually be harmful.

    Bleach for toenail fungus, case in point!

    That having been said, although not clinically proven, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence from people who have used home remedies for treating toenail fungus with apparent success. The following are the top three home remedies for killing toenail fungus that are safe to use, and might actually work for you.

    Vicks VapoRub was invented more than a century ago as a treatment for pneumonia and croup. The crazy thing is that the same ingredients that have made it a medicine cabinet staple ever since, for easing coughs, colds and chest congestion, also all have antifungal properties.

    Vicks VapoRub contains camphor , thymol , and menthol .

    Vicks is also one of the few home remedies out there for which there was an actual clinical study performed that showed that it did indeed show positive results against toenail fungus for some people.

    Now what you need to realize is that the study included only 18 people and of those 18, with daily use, after 48 weeks, completely cured only 5. This is a success rate of just over 30%.

    The premise behind this home remedy as a cure for nail fungus is that vinegar is acidic, which gives it antifungal and antibacterial properties. It slows down the growth of some types of fungus and may even get rid of it entirely.

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