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.

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  1. Julie
    Michigan
    Reply

    I used to use vicks all the time thought I couldn’t sleep without it. Well then I started getting into essential oils after seeing a clients husband get worse using vicks with his copd I decided to make him something with my oils! I made him a rub with coconut oil and essential oils he started getting better less mucus build up and swears it works better than vicks! So now my whole family threw away the vicks and we just use the homeade stuff I make with essential oils! Just wanted to share maybe will help someone else like helped us!

  2. Mariana
    ND
    Reply

    I have recently been diagnosed with several nodules on my lungs this could possibly be from VICks because I have been putting it in my nose all the way to the back for a couple of years now. But now I’m going to stop, no more Vicks in the nostrils. I’ll probably still keep using it outside just to get the fumes going in so I can breathe easy deep breaths while I sleep.

  3. dedicated
    Louisiana
    Reply

    Well I am 53 years of age women ,I was raise on vicks vapor rub, I have 7 children , and 8 grandchildren, I raise my children with it ,and my children use it on there children , I know I became sick I paid over $100.00 dollars for my medicine it was not helping ,my vicks is what help me get better I stop taking the medicine, I do use vicks near my nose I don’t stuff it in there I rub a lite coat in side the edge of my nose I sleep great I go to the doctor like I’m surpose to my doctor knows I use vicks ,matter of fact it stop me from having to go to the hospital ,I’ve had every test done that needs to be done I’m very healthy ,my grandson was running a very high fever I put vicks under his feet with white socks and rub some behind his neck with a lite t-shirt on his fever broke in no time , and did not come back , my son works out and if his legs are shoulders are sore I rub vicks are the swelling go’s down and he doesn’t hurt any more vicks can be use for many different things ,yes some people may miss use it are was never thought the proper way to use it ,I know a lot of people who has used vicks and it really has saved a lot of life’s that I know of ,just saying yes maybe if someone puts to much in there nose it will go up the nasal to for ,but if you just rub a lite coat inside your nose at the edge I can’t see it doing any harm , everybody is different maybe some can use it maybe some can’t ,I hope this helps I can go on and on I’m a true believer in vicks vapor rub and so is my hold family and friends , it’s been here for years and has help I can’t see it stopping now I know people question what’s in it how it’s made but if you think about it any types of medication that is out there you take one thing to cure something and that medicine makes something else go wrong so then your on another type of medicine my husband’s brother had three different types of breathing medicine he breaths better with the vicks just a lite coat by his nose , I get my lungs check also and they are fine cause I’m always around a lot of smokers second hand you know , so this is my story I just wanted to share take care ,hope it helps.

  4. Sabrina
    Calgary
    Reply

    I have been using Vicks for about 10 years now, I cannot sleep without it. I joke all the time saying that I’m a “Vicks addict”, but this is not the first time that I have read that putting Vicks directly INTO your nostrils causes problems. The study I had read was only in children and did not cause me that much concern but now I am having problems breathing at night and I am now getting sores in both of my nostrils but I can’t seem to stop! My nose feels so dry without it, I really do feel like an addict. Does anyone have any thoughts on me telling this to my doctor and maybe having some tests done? Now I’m concerned.

  5. Pamela G.
    Denver
    Reply

    I have been using vicks in the nostrils chest for several years… now, I’m getting very concerned. How do you stop without getting stopped up etc? I am really worried about health problems occurring after reading this.

  6. TJM
    McAllen,TX
    Reply

    Is been almost a year that I started having pain on my throat and lungs, I have so much difficulty breathing. My doctors have done so many tests without any luck. After reading this I think I know why. I seriously think I am a vapor rub addict, every single night in my nostrils, chest and even my neck. I can’t sleep without it! For at least 13 years every single night but from today on will not even get closer to that thing.
    Hope I can do this. I am so tired of having chronic pain.

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