Q. I went to the hospital for an unrelated problem that prompted an X-ray and CT scan. The doctors found five nodules in my lungs.
I met with a pulmonologist to discuss this. After I mentioned that I put Vicks in my nostrils every night, as I have for 10 years, and he looked at my CT scan, he diagnosed me with lipoid pneumonia.
I am 41 and in very good health, so this was quite a surprise. I thought it was important to share.
A. Several years ago we started warning readers not to put Vicks VapoRub into their nostrils. A pulmonologist alerted us to the possibility that one of the ingredients in Vicks, petrolatum, could get into the lungs and cause chronic inflammation.
We got quite a few indignant responses from people who said they had been doing this for years. Here is just one example: “I read your warning not to put Vicks VapoRub in your nose. That’s stupid. I’ve been stuffing my nose with Vicks for years and I have never once come down with pneumonia. You can tell that to your know-it-all doctor. You shouldn’t buy into everything that doctors tell you.”
Your experience demonstrates that the pulmonologist’s warning was on target. Thank you for letting us know.