Vapor rubs are widely used for relieving symptoms of the common cold. They are not new. These popular ointments have been around in use for hundreds of years. Vapor rub also known as a chest rub or cold rub is a mentholated topical petroleum jelly-based ointment that is used to assist with simple medical conditions that temporarily impair breathing, like the common cold. It is commonly applied to the chest and neck, often just before sleeping. Vapor rubs mainly contain menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oils.
Axe Brand, Tiger Balm, and Vicks VapoRub are the most used vapor rub brands. Vicks VapoRub is the commercial name for a vapor rub made by the U.S. company Procter & Gamble. It is marketed as a solution for cold and cough symptoms. According to the manufacturer, the Vicks VapoRub also helps to ease minor muscle aches and joint pain.
Uses Of Vicks VapoRub
The active ingredients of Vicks VapoRub are
Menthol (2.6 percent), Camphor (4.7 percent), and Eucalyptus oil (1.2 percent)
It also contains several inactive ingredients like cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, turpentine oil, thymol, and petrolatum, which are responsible for its popular uses. Due to these ingredients, the Vicks VapoRub has a menthol scent and a petroleum jelly-like texture.
Vicks VapoRub does not have decongestant properties. Instead, the strong camphor and menthol vapors create a cooling feeling in the nasal passages that activates some receptors in your brain to feel that you are breathing more freely. Due to a feeling of relief from congestion, it is reported that several users got better sleep.
Vicks VapoRub is helpful in easing cough. The ingredients of Vicks VapoRub like camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol are cough suppressants. But Vicks VapoRub is not recommended to use if your cough has lots of phlegm or if it is chronic such as in the case of asthma and emphysema. Vicks VapoRub can be used by rubbing a layer on your chest and neck only. Be careful not to use it near your mouth or nostrils. Camphor if absorbed through your mucous membrane is toxic, especially for toddlers and babies. Cover your head with a dry cloth while you are sitting or standing. Wear loose clothing around your chest so that vapors can rise to your nose area. Repeat this around three times in 24 hours.
Vicks VapoRub also provides temporary relief from headaches. There are small studies that have shown that gels and ointments containing menthol are effective in relieving headaches. Apply the Vicks VapoRub to the base of the skull for relief from the headache. The menthol, camphor, and eucalyptus oils in the Vicks VapoRub provide a cooling effect on the head and gives temporary relief from headache. The amount of menthol in pain relieving balms will be higher.
Vicks VapoRub also has another interesting use. It can treat toenail fungus. This is because all three active ingredients in Vicks VapoRub have antifungal properties. There are studies that suggest the effectiveness of mentholated ointments in treating toenail fungus. There is another study that tested the effectiveness of Vicks VapoRub against toenail fungus in patients who are HIV-infected. The results from these studies have indicated that Vicks VapoRub can be a cost-efficient alternative to expensive antifungal medications.
Vicks VapoRub For Pain In The Feet
It is your feet that bear the weight of your entire body when you are standing or walking. So it is common for your feet to come under a lot of stress and strain and thus foot pain is very frequent in our life. Foot pain refers to any pain or discomfort in parts of the foot, such as the toes, heels, arches, and soles. The pain in the feet can range from very mild to severe.
It may last for a short time or can be an ongoing issue. Pain in the feet can be due to lifestyle choices or common medical issues. Wearing shoes that do not fit properly can cause foot pain. Wearing high-heeled shoes can also cause pain in the foot as it puts the toes under great stress. High-impact exercises like jogging or intense aerobics are another reason for foot pain. Arthritis and diabetes are major medical issues that cause foot pain.
Vicks VapoRub helps to relieve pain in the foot, especially the pain resulting from sore muscles in the feet. According to the National Institute of Health, both camphor and menthol are topical analgesics or pain relievers. Most topical pain relieving medications contain main ingredients like menthol, eucalyptus, and turpentine. Some pain relievers also contain salicylates or the substance P to reduce pain. When you apply Vicks VapoRub on the skin of the feet you will feel relief from the foot pain.
Vicks VapoRub contains active ingredients like camphor and menthol which can create a powerful cooling sensation that can temporarily override your ability to feel the pain of sore muscles and joints. The cooling of the affected area helps to create numbness and thus relieves the pain.
Menthol which is also known as mint camphor causes a cooling sensation. This cooling sensation can trick the mind into thinking that the skin or body temperature is dropping. Due to this cooling effect, the nerve endings get desensitized and you will feel less or no pain. It is similar to the use of ice or cold packs. Like them, menthol decreases arterial blood flow. Vicks VapoRub can be also applied to other parts of the body where there are pulled or sore muscles, sprains and strains, minor aches and pains, and arthritis.
Vicks VapoRub is a good home remedy for easing cough and cold. It can be also used to relieve pain resulting from sore muscles. The active ingredients of Vicks VapoRub like menthol and camphor act like analgesics or pain relievers. They create a good cooling sensation to feel relief from the pain. Remember that it can be only relied upon for treating minor ailments that cause pain. If the pain is severe and persists for a long time, then it can be a sign of something more serious. Get proper medical care in such cases.
Dr. Elizabeth Novello
Dr. Elizabeth Novello specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system. Her clients range across diverse age groups and she works closely with patients to develop a personalized treatment plan that takes into account the individual’s medical history and the underlying cause of their pain. Dr. Elizabeth Novello also performs procedures such as lumbar punctures or nerve conduction studies. In addition to diagnosing and treating specific conditions, she focuses on helping patients manage chronic conditions and providing support for patients and their families.
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