There is no scientific proof that putting Vicks VapoRub on your feet at night helps relieve coughing. However, some people use this product to treat foot fungus, relieve pain, or soften cracked heels. Beyond relieving chest congestion, there are other great uses for Vicks VapoRub.
Vicks VapoRub also has other popular off-label uses, and these have more support than using the product on the chest to improve coughs. Vicks is sometimes used on the feet to relieve pain from neuropathy, treat toenail fungus, and soften calluses.
topical pain relief
Some people apply Vicks VapoRub to sore muscles and joints. Camphor and menthol, two ingredients in Vicks VapoRub, are topical analgesics (pain relievers). Research also shows that the menthol in Vicks VapoRub can help relieve nerve pain. Some ways to use Vicks VapoRub on the feet to relieve pain can be:
- Use it as a muscle massage to prevent post-workout soreness.
- Rub it on the wrists to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome
- Apply it on the feet to relieve neuropathy.
Treat foot fungus
The camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus in Vicks VapoRub have antifungal properties that may be helpful in treating foot and toenail fungus. In fact, two studies found that this off-label use of Vicks may be effective.
In a small study, Vicks VapoRub helped relieve symptoms of onychomycosis (toenail fungus) in 83% of study participants. More than a quarter experienced complete elimination of the underlying fungus after applying Vicks VapoRub to the toenails every day for 48 weeks.
smooth cracked heels
Some people use Vicks VapoRub on their feet for cracked heels. This may be because Vicks has a Vaseline base. Dermatology experts recommend using Vaseline to soften calluses on feet and heels. It’s a common recommendation on beauty blogs, but there’s no scientific evidence to support that it works. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try if you have some Vicks VapoRub in your medicine cabinet. However, plain Vaseline works and costs much less than the price of this product.