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Does VapoRub really fight toenail fungus?

Happy toes have healthy toenails. (Photo: Flickr/Vinoth Chandar)

Does VapoRub really fight toenail fungus?

Tom Musbach

By Tom Musbach on May 14, 2012

Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided from a Expert on JustAnswer:

Q: I have a toenail fungus, and I've heard that Vicks VapoRub can help. Is that true? I would like to try it before getting a prescription for drugs.

A: You can try Vicks VapoRub application over the fungus nail with good effect. The ointment contains menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor, which can kill the fungus on nails.

To use the ointment to stop your toenail fungus, start by soaking your feet in warm water before bedtime. This will soften the nails. Dry them thoroughly with a clean towel and file the nails down with an emery board. Try to get the nail or nails down to a normal thickness so that the ointment can penetrate the nail.

Apply the VapoRub to the nail, cuticle, and under the nail, if possible. Wear socks to bed to avoid staining your sheets. Overnight the ointment will penetrate your nail and start fighting the infection. Within a few days, the nail should darken, indicating the treatment is working. Over the course of a few months, the infected nail should grow out, and a new, healthy nail will grow in its place.

Otherwise you can try prescription medications, but know that sometimes the oral medications can have several side effects.

-- Answer from Mysticdoc, a physician in New York and Expert on JustAnswer.