Q. I was rubbing some Vicks VapoRub on my daughter and by accident I touched my nose after sneezing. A miniscule amount of it went into my nostril. Will this be harmful to me? For a few hours I could taste it even though I rinsed my mouth out immediately.
A. We have warned in the past about keeping Vicks VapoRub out of the nostrils where it could be inhaled. The petrolatum base might then accumulate in the lungs and cause inflammation called chemical pneumonitis.
This caution is directed at the practice of deliberately daubing Vicks in the nose as some people do. We doubt the miniscule amount that got into your nostril will cause you any harm.