Vicks VapoRub has been around since before most of us were born, and unlike its fellow health treatments, it’s survived the test of time. Vicks is, of course, designed to treat chesty coughs, and many of us will remember our parents rubbing it on our chests and noses to clear our airways before bed. But while this may be the main marketed use for Vicks, there are plenty of other ways you can take advantage of it for the sake of your health.
Even today, Vicks VapoRub is the number one selling branded children’s cough and cold product. It can be used on children ages two and up and is essentially a topical cough medicine with medicated vapours. It starts working quickly for both children and adults to relieve chesty cough symptoms and alleviate sinus issues.
The most common uses of Vicks VapoRub are:
1. Relieves chesty cough
Vicks is used all around the world predominantly to relieve chesty cough symptoms. Experts say it can temporarily relieve coughs caused by minor throat and bronchial irritation that many people get with the common cold.
It contains the active ingredients camphor, a cough suppressant, and topical analgesic; eucalyptus oil, a cough suppressant; and menthol, a cough suppressant, and topical analgesic.
To use Vicks VapoRub for a chesty cough, simply rub a thick layer of the lotion onto the skin of your chest and throat. You can cover the lotion with a warm, dry cloth if preferred. Keep any clothing or other material around your throat and chest loose to allow the vapours to easily reach your nose and mouth.
2. Nasal decongestant
Vicks contains a whole host of ingredients that are said to help with chesty coughs, but the characteristic that makes it most effective for decongesting the nasal passages is its strong menthol odour. It’s thought that this odour can actually trick your brain, so you feel like you're breathing through an unclogged nose, making it easier to sleep at night or go about your day congestion-free.
If you want to try Vicks VapoRub out as a nasal decongestant, massage a small amount of the lotion above your upper lip, directly below your nostrils. You should notice the effects of the rub immediately after applying it.
3. Improves skin
If your skin commonly suffers from eczema or acne, one popular alternative use for Vicks VapoRub is to help soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and clear up your complexion. How does this work?
Well, Vicks contains menthol, an ingredient that’s known for its antimicrobial and drying abilities. If you suffer from acne, putting a bit on the spot may help to suck the oil away from the area and dry it out overnight.
This tip might not work for everyone, but if you’re dealing with a flareup and you don’t have any other forms of medication, there’s no harm in giving Vicks VapoRub a go. Just add a coating of the lotion onto the affected area and leave for a minimum of two hours to let it get to work.
4. Deters insects
Insects are pesky things to deal with, especially in the height of summer, when we want to be able to spend late evenings in the garden without being bitten all over. If you don’t have any decent insect repellent, it’s worth locating your Vicks and taking it on your countryside adventures or outdoors with you at night.
To use Vicks VapoRub for deterring insects, dab a bit of the lotion on your arms, legs, neck, or other areas of exposed skin to keep bugs, including those nasty mosquitoes, at bay. Again, you’ll find that it’s the menthol in the rub that does the trick. It might smell invigorating to us, but bugs dislike it, and it’s generally enough to keep them away.
5. Treats earache
If you’re dealing with an ear infection, it’s usually always advisable that you get things checked out by the doctor if your symptoms don’t clear up after two or three days. Before then, though, or if your ear infection is only mild, you can relieve your symptoms and help keep the pain under control by using Vicks on the area.
All you’ll need to do is place a cotton ball dabbed with a generous amount of Vicks VapoRub in your ear for several hours. Be careful not to stuff the cotton bud right into your ear canal, which may only serve to make the infection worse.
Gently inserting it into your ear and leaving it for long enough should help reduce the irritating symptoms associated with an earache.
6. Reduces stretch marks
If you're looking to fade the appearance of stretch marks, you might be surprised to know that Vicks can help. We don’t know who was first to try out the lotion, but it soon became a viral trend on Pinterest and saw huge success.
While Vicks isn’t yet scientifically proven to be an effective way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you’ve got nothing to lose if you give it a shot.
To use Vicks VapoRub on your stretch marks, apply a thin layer of the lotion to the affected area daily, leaving it on for as long as you can before washing off. This method is supposed to produce visible results within a couple of weeks, so you’ll need to remember to keep at it if you want to notice a difference.
7. Treats foot conditions
We use our feet tirelessly on a daily basis, so it’s no surprise they can quickly become affected by various conditions like athlete’s foot and cracked heels. If you don’t want to splash out on an expensive targeted foot medication, you can use Vicks VapoRub as a common home remedy to alleviate your condition. The rub contains several antimicrobial ingredients as well as petroleum jelly, all of which help to lock in moisture while killing off bacteria.
Simply take a generous amount of Vicks and smooth it all over the affected area of your foot. You might want to put a pair of soft, stretchy socks on over your feet to help keep the lotion in the right place. For best results, leave on overnight before washing or wiping off.
8. Fades bruising
Many bruises have an annoying habit of cropping up unannounced, and are impossible to relate back to an incident that could have caused them. Bruises usually go away in their own time, but if you’ve got a particularly large or dark bruise that you don’t want ruining your photos on your upcoming night out, you can naturally speed up the fading process by using Vicks, which is said to lessen swelling and inflammation.
You’ll need to add a pinch of salt to the Vicks VapoRub in this case, which can expedite the healing process. Apply the formula directly to your bruise and let it sit for as long as possible.
If the Vicks rubs off, add a little more. Repeat up to four times a day until your bruise is no longer the centre of attention.
9. Heals cuts and wounds
Vicks VapoRub is an effective natural solution for healing minor cuts and scrapes. Experts say that the thick formula creates a barrier between your cuts and the air they’re exposed to, helping them to coagulate and heal at a faster rate.
It’s worth knowing, however, that certain ingredients in the Vicks formula can do more harm than good. Watch out for pain or a burning sensation, and take the product off immediately if this occurs.
To use Vicks on a small cut or wound, apply the lotion to clean skin once or twice daily until the affected area is healed. You might want to avoid putting the lotion on completely fresh cuts, instead waiting until they’re a day or two old first.
10. Alleviates headaches
We’ve already mentioned how Vicks can be used to clear congestion by tricking our noses into thinking that we’re breathing freely. For this reason, if you suffer from sinus headaches, one of the best uses for the lotion is to simply breathe in the scent. This will offer a super quick fix that will help to clear your head and alleviate pain related to stuffy sinuses, no over the counter medication required.
To get rid of a sinus headache fast, simply apply Vicks VapoRub to the area beneath your nostrils, above your top lip, as you would do for cleaning your sinuses. Leave on overnight or for long enough for your headache to be diminished.
11. Eases muscle soreness
The only other marketed benefit of Vicks is its ability to ease muscle soreness. We all experience this uncomfortable sensation from time to time, whether it’s because we’ve sustained an injury, we’re suffering from cold or flu, or we’ve simply worked hard at the gym. It’s the menthol and eucalyptus oil ingredients in Vicks that helps soothe sore muscles and increase circulation.
You can use Vicks VapoRub on any area of muscle pain by rubbing it onto the affected body part no more than four times per day. You shouldn’t heat Vicks up in the microwave, as the manufacturer is pretty clear that this is unsafe to do.
However, for best results when treating muscle soreness and pain, you can combine your Vicks with a hot compress to create a soothing combination of heat and ice.
Not everything you hear about Vicks VapoRub is true. Back in 2016, claims that rubbing Vicks on the soles of the feet could help to stop a person coughing had made headlines and spread on Twitter.
It’s thought that the claims came about in 2007, after an email was published online from the “Canada Research Council” – an organisation that doesn’t actually exist. No studies have proven that the method works, so for now, assume that it doesn’t.
Vicks recommends that you rub the lotion on your sinuses and your chest area for treating a cough, which makes a lot more sense when you consider the parts of your body you’re trying to target.
Using Vicks VapoRub on your feet may soothe tired, achy feet, but it won’t help with cold symptoms like a stuffy nose or sinus congestion. You might apply too much VapoRub on your feet if you feel like it’s not working.
Vicks VapoRub might have been around for a long time, but this helpful health remedy isn’t set to go away any time soon. Even if you don’t often suffer with chesty coughs, you’ll more than be able to make use of your own tub of Vicks before it reaches its expiry date.
If you want to get the most benefits out of Vicks VapoRub, use it when needed, but not overly frequently. The manufacturer recommends you reapply Vicks no more than four times a day, and it’s a good idea to test it on your skin before the first time you use it. Additionally, remember that you shouldn’t use Vicks on children under two years old. Visit your doctor if you’re ever uncertain about using Vicks on yourself or somebody else.
If you want to purchase Vicks then check the products below
- RELIEVES COUGH. Use on chest and throat to temporarily relieve cough due to the common cold
- PAIN RELIEF. Use on muscles and joints to temporarily relieve minor aches and pains
- MEDICATED VAPORS. Starts working quickly to relieve cough symptoms
- CALM, SOOTHING LAVENDER SCENT
- Starts working quickly to relieve cough symptoms
- Use on achy muscles and joints to provide relief for aches and pains
- Use on chest and throat to temporarily relieve cough due to throat and bronchial irritation associated with the common cold.
- For external use only; avoid contact with eyes