Vicks Vapor Rub for Toenail Fungus – Cure or Myth?

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If you’re reading this, it’s almost certain that the question on your mind is whether or not you can use Vicks Vapor Rub for toenail fungus.

You might also be looking for an effective cure for your toenail fungus since prescription treatments recommended by doctors sometimes have serious side effects.

Below is a video I made that explores the Effectiveness of using Vicks VapoRub for Toenail Fungus.

What is Vicks Vapor Rub?

Vicks VapoRub, a home remedy for common respiratory ailments like cold, flu, cough, congested nose has been with us for more than a century. For many of us, it is a trusted remedy that has probably been introduced to us by our grandparents.

It is part of the medicine cabinet in many homes, thus no doubt that it has found use in many other conditions like pain, inflammation, or even to treat a mosquito bite.

Three vital components of Vicks VapoRub are camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil (plus some other additional ingredients).

Most of these elements have been used in various traditional medicines since ages, with some of them mentioned in the oldest medical books.

Thus no doubt that all of them are well studied. It is not rare for such remedies as Vicks to find newer and surprising uses, so what about its effectiveness in toenail fungus infection?

Vicks Toenail Fungus Myth

vicks vapor rub for toenail fungus

Fungal infection of nails also called onychomycosis, is very stubborn and difficult to treat infection. Blood supply to toenails is not much; further feet often remain contained in the moist environment (due to footwear and socks).

This fungal infection usually starts with the discoloration of nails (sometimes a yellow or a white spot), and it may even make nails fall.

Because of the stubbornness of toenail infection, people have most likely tried many remedies for its treatment.

So is it true or just a myth?

No, it is not a myth, Vicks VapoRub may help, though not as much as one may expect.

It is not a replacement for anti fungal therapy. It is also not what the product was designed for.

But it is something that may help in few cases, as no toenail fungal infections are same.

All three main components of Vicks are known to have some degree of antimicrobial activity, along with anti-inflammatory properties.

Will Vicks make my toenail fall off?

Most likely not, at least not due to the direct action of Vicks.

Most of its components are mild, aromatic, and non-toxic. They cannot make the toenail fall off (I couldn’t find any reports of it).

Although, in extreme cases it could happen due to the destruction caused by fungal infection.

Does Vicks cure toenail fungus?

It may sound a bit weird for some people. However, it seems to sometimes help cure a fungal infection. Though it has not gone through any large-scale clinical trials, some “small-scale” studies have been done.

During these studies, people experience various degrees of relief.

Have a look at the above video. As you can see, the percentage of people that have complete relief from this fungal infection is low.

Nevertheless, it would be immensely difficult to say the role of Vicks in the overall therapy of fungal infection of the toe, as there are many compelling remedies available with proven efficiency.


In conclusion, we can say that if you are lucky, Vicks may be helpful in toenail infection.

BUT it is by no means the most effective treatment.

Any cure for toenail fungus will take a couple of months. This is due to nails (and fungus) that takes a long time to grow.

Do you really want to wait that long to see whether you have a small chance of success?

>> Check out my Personal Review of a FDA Approved product that may have a higher chance to cure your infection.

Here’s to you curing your fungal infection!

– Sally.

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14 thoughts on “Vicks Vapor Rub for Toenail Fungus – Cure or Myth?

  1. Barb

    Thanks so much for this very informative article on Vicks Vapor Rub as a remedy for toenail fungus. I’ve heard this before, but never really knew whether it worked or not. I’m glad to see that it does help some people. I would rather try Vicks before I try the traditional anti-fungal treatments which I understand are quite toxic.

    I actually heard that oregano oil gets rid of all kinds of infections including toe fungus. Have you heard or that remedy before?

    1. Sally Jones Post author

      Hi Barb,

      Glad you found the article informative. 

      Yes, Vicks does work, but unfortunately only for some people and only sometimes. 

      Yes, I have. You can read up on it here.

      I discuss the use of Oregano Oil and a few other possible treatments.

      Thanks again for the tip and have a lovely day,


  2. Rita Bailey

    I appreciate the research on toenail fungus it’s so ugly..and I do a lot of buffing sanding retired due to a hip that was put in wrong ..i can’t afford the prescription meds so I will now try the natural ways you mention…and give it time. Thank you

    1. Sally Jones Post author

      Hi Rita,

      Glad to hear my research has helped someone.

      There are many home remedies to try out, but the key is persistence (due to the long time it takes for both nail and fungus to grow).

      I hope the one you choose works for you!


  3. Linda Zeitler

    I used it 4 times with que tip and put some on top of nail and under as far as I can get, and it looks so much better! Better than any other treatment I’ve done. Thank you! I’m going to pass it along to my daughter -in – law and I’ll let you know how she does. Who would know this works so well.

  4. James

    This is really cool, I never knew Vicks Vapor Rub could do this. The information is easy to read and take in and pretty much every question is answered. The video is a nice touch. I’ll be using this in the future as I have suffered from toenail fungus before. Great page 🙂

    1. Sally Jones Post author

      Hi James,

      Glad you found the article useful. Yes, Vicks does have a lot of uses!

      I prefer using home remedies as well, where I can, and am always updating as I find new and interesting ones that have helped other people.

      Thanks for your comment on my video 🙂



  5. rmjia

    This is something new to me. My mum had this fungal infection in her fingernails. She had tried different types of treatments. I will let her know of this natural remedy using Vicks Vapor Rub. She will be more receptive to medication that is known to her like this one. Thank you for your very helpful information.

    1. Sally Jones Post author

      Good Day,

      Glad to hear you found the article helpful.

      As with your mum, it should be easy for lots of people to attempt to cure nail fungus, using Vicks.

      Not only is it a household name, but it also contains many ingredients that should fight the fungal infection.

      If it does work for her, please let me know.



  6. Jenny Hennig

    Wow, I had no idea that Vick’s Vapor Rub  could help cure toenail fungus. That’s great news for anyone who wants a natural treatment and safer alternative to prescription medications, as well as less costly.  I always have a tub of Vick’s Vapor Rub in my medicine cabinet for when I feel a cold coming on, but now if I ever get a nail fungus I can use it for that too.  Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sally Jones Post author

      You are right, it is quite astonishing how many uses Vicks does have. Growing up I also always thought that it was just something your mum rubbed on your chest when you felt a cold developing.

      Personally I always try to do natural remedies before actual medicine, especially when curing the ailment is not critical. 

      This is a perfect example of just that (obviously dependent on the severity of your fungal infection).

  7. momsmith78

    Hey Sally,

    Thanks for the interesting article. I never knew that Vicks could help with toenail fungus at all. I understand this MAY NOT possible be a cure. But it could help!! It does have some beneficial properties that are in it so it makes sense.

    You learn so much when you read!!


    1. Sally Jones Post author

      Hi Elaine,

      Yes, it is very interesting to read how many ailments Vicks can actually cure. According to some people, it does cure their fungal infection.

      Personally I think it depends on a lot of factors, such as how bad the infection is, how often Vicks is applied, etc.

      And hey, nothing wrong with a good home remedy that actually works! 


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