Q. I am a 51-year-old physician who had some toenail fungus on a third of my great toenail. It had been gradually worsening over the prior two years, but I did not want to take Lamisil orally for 12 weeks for just one toenail.
My dermatologist suggested applying Vicks VapoRub to the affected nail. I put it on once a day after showering or bathing. After six months, my nail is now completely normal looking! I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. I hope that someone does a controlled clinical study on the use of Vicks VapoRub for toenail fungus one day.
A. One test tube study found that the ingredients of Vicks VapoRub (menthol, eucalyptol, camphor, thymol, etc.) are effective against various fungal organisms that can infect toenails (Phytotherapy Research, Apr., 2003). A small preliminary trial at Michigan State University mentioned in Consumer Reports (March, 2006) found Vicks to be somewhat helpful.
Some readers report success with Vicks against nail fungus, but it does not work for everyone. We have collected a number of other home remedies for this common scourge in our Guide to Hair and Nail Care, which also describes pros and cons of prescription treatments.