Pros: Inexpensive, been on the market for over 80 years.
Vicks have been used for decades, since it was first introduced on the market. Most of our Mother's and Grandmother's have used it on us as some type of miracle vapor rub. I remember as a child, the hot warm bath, thick socks and flannel pj's Mama used to put on me. She rubbed me down with Vicks making sure my nice rosy skin was covered. My neck, check, back, forehead, earlobes and a dab under my nose. I still remember the huge head rush I would get. I am not sure if it was the power of the camphor assaulting my nostrils, the cooling effects it gave my skin, or the healing power of Mama's hands massaging in the ointment that made me feel so well.
I use VapoRub with my children, and sure they will use it with my grandchildren.(If they see fit to give me any!!) I tried using "Campho Stick" rub and found it not as effective, having to reapply it quite often. You also have the choice of using a store brand, again nothing has compared with the real deal.
I am writing this to inform on what some may not know about Vicks, and other facts you may be aware of already.
How Vicks Works
When you inhale the vapors of Vicks they have a decongestant and antitussive (decrease coughing) effect. It is supposed to be used in conjunction with a common cold. Not unlike camphor, menthol and eucalyptus oils. All clinically have relieved a significant amount of nasal decongestion, but not to be used long term.
Now here comes the good stuff. This is for external use only, none of the putting it in the nose as Mama did. DO NOT ADD TO HOT WATER, bacterial thrives in humidifiers and once you add Vapor Rub to that you are only asking for trouble. There have been documented cases of pneumonia from over exposure too warm and hot moist heat humidifiers being placed near bedsides. Your child or you are inhaling for hours some bacteria along with the Vapor Rub which is opening bronchial passages allowing the bacterial to settle in the lungs. May be used with cool mist vaporizers, although it does melt but will float atop the water. DO NOT add to boiling water and put your head over the pan with a towel like your Grandmother may have done, this also can cause harm. The warnings are in very small words on the side of the box. It is not to be taken internally ( you may think this one is silly but it is done around the world daily for sore throats)
Vapor Rub is not to be used on children under the age of six months although it is usually tolerated with infants and children. The precautions state it is NOT RECOMMENDED.
Adverse reactions in the past 80 years of the product being on the market are less than 1-2% of people who use Vicks topically will develop minor skin irritation or dermatitis. Those with allergies to any of the ingredients should not use this product.
Vicks have been used for many things in the last decade. Some say it works well on hemorrhoids. I cannot say it does or does not, as you will not catch me applying something that stings my eyes to my anus! Common sense tells me not to do that.
It does give a soothing relief from symptoms of a cold and helps you to breathe a little better. Which is what the medication was made to do.
Nail technologists are starting to use it for nail fungus brought on my improper cleansing of the nails before application of acrylic. Causing a green, or yellowing of the nail. Vicks have apparently worked well in a few people, but there is no substantial documentation or study performed on this subject, so it is purely speculative at this point.
"Smile it only hurts for a second."