Jar of Vicks VapoRub

Q. I read a message on your website about someone who put Vicks VapoRub on his hemorrhoids. He complained that “Vicks on his hemorrhoids felt like napalm” and described the sensation as “spontaneous combustion that made me feel like I was a jet fighter with afterburners. Mayday!”

My experience has been quite different. I have used Vicks on my hemorrhoids and it works amazingly well. Vicks is, however, for external use only. What that means is that if there is broken skin involved then lift-off can be achieved. Vicks on broken skin is not a happy feeling.

A. We have been surprised at the number of people who report benefit from Vicks VapoRub on hemorrhoids:

“Tried Vick’s vaporub as haemorrhoid remedy It worked immediately, effectively and without pain.”

“OMG…Vicks is brilliant. It shrinks them too. A star all the way!”


“Vicks is great for hemmies. Granted if you are extremely sensitive I would avoid it but if you aren’t and are looking for relief it’s a must.”


“I have had hemorrhoids for 40 years. About 35 years ago, while living in England, I was able to treat them with an ointment I found that was sold there. I brought some back to the U.S., but could never find it here. The two principal ingredients listed on the tube were camphor and menthol.

“I now use Vicks VapoRub. Regular use relieves the itching as well as the swelling for me.”

“I’ve used Vicks since childhood and recently carried it on my backpacking journey across the world. As I recall Vicks was available in most countries. It works on bug bites, some fungus infections, hemorrhoids, ‘dings & nicks’ and as a chest rub. I wouldn’t be without it – ever!

Regards, Bob

We grant you that such testimonials are compelling. But there is a dissenting viewpoint. It is the one expressed by John Welter, writing in the Durham Herald-Sun, March 24, 2001:

“…in a clinical setting where no one could see me, I scientifically applied a sufficient amount of VapoRub to the inflamed area and waited for results. I’d like to report to Joe Graedon that almost immediately, I could breathe better. In an essay I’m writing for The New England Journal of Medicine, I state that: ‘After applying VapoRub to the hemorrhoids, I had no respiratory problems in my pants.’

“What really happened is that the active ingredients in VapoRub–which I think are menthol, camphor and napalm–instantly engulfed my hemorrhoidal locality in spontaneous combustion. The warmth of VapoRub on a congested chest might be comforting; applying it to the most sensitive escape route in the human abdomen made me imagine I was a jet fighter with afterburners. I moved distractedly through the house like an F-15 pilot saying: ‘Mayday! Mayday! I took a direct hit to my tail section! Eject! Eject! There’s a fire in my cockpit!’ Well, not the cockpit, really. I forget the military term for butt.

“The use of VapoRub for hemorrhoids was supposed to be a home remedy, although obviously it has military applications… I must politely report to Joe Graedon that while it’s possible that a few people might benefit from VapoRub on their hemorrhoids, I think most people will respond with such well-known expressions as, ‘Shots fired! Officer down! We have casualties!'”

We would love to hear about your hemorrhoid treatments. Please comment below.

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  1. Kim
    ftworth tx

    After reading all of these comments and suffering for the past week I think my next step is Vicks. I wonder if it would be safe to use now that tonight I have started using cortisone 10 intensive healing. I want to use the Vicks. Has anyone use any creams like cortisone and the used Vicks please let me know

  2. Marci

    I was literally in tears for hours today after two HORRIBLE days with bigger than a grape. Horrible. If you can, I suggest finding a cream with lidocaine in it. The one I found was carried at Walgreens called Rectoderm. It helped so much, but then I realized it is not meant to help the swelling. It just (almost) completely numbed the area, which made me a little nervous but the relief was amazing. I had heard of trying Vicks, but was too afraid of it burning. So, once it was numb, I used Vicks and I am hoping that it will help with the swelling, but so far it feels far better rather than worse.


    I used vicks too and now (after a month, thrice a day) my hem was gone! After I bathe, I apply vicks. MAGIC!!!!!

  4. Lela
    United States

    I’ve I tried this tonight after a BM I was afraid it would burn but it didn’t, I felt instant relief this is 8/13/15. It did give me a sort of “minty ” feeling. The only other way I could describe it is say you brushed your teeth and frank water immediately after. Idk those are my thoughts ^_^ hope you find it helpful

  5. Lisa

    I want to start by saying thank you to all of you. I developed hemorrhoids with my last pregnancy which was a year ago when I realized they weren’t going to go away on their own, I almost died. I have spent many many days and nights crying from the constant burning, itching, and sharp pains. Not to mention the bleeding.

    Tonight has been rough as well. I tried Vicks and am both happy and a little upset. I’m upset because I have had this life saving medicine in my cabinet forever, and I’m happy and relieved because it worked. This was just another one of the MANY home remedies I have tried. OTC medicine doesn’t even relieve the pain. VICKS is definitely the way to go.

  6. Annie

    Be careful when using Vicks! for hemorroids. I tried it. Putting some vicks on my hemorroids & it melted & spread into my vaginal area causing huge outbreak of infection. It caused me grief for about 3 months. I thought I had hpv warts. I eventually had to go to the doctor to resolve vaginitis.

    • alicia
      rural hall nc

      Omg it’s great! It works too. I have tried everything, I can sleep now ! Thanks to all of you

    • Adolf

      Never had any pain or burning from Vicks, the burning sensation was from the hemorrhoids and the surrounding tissue. One application and instant relief, the hemorrhoids shrank and after a few days are gone. You may have used to much and it spread into your vagina. I also use it on heat rashes in the groin area. It also good for relief of pain in leg cramps and charlie horses. Been using this remedy for over 40 years. A dab under your nose helps relieve nasal congestion, there are several varieties of milder flavored versions available.

  7. Anna

    I have read a lot of the reviews and I am still scared to use Vick’s rub on my external hemorrhoid which is now the size of a grape. I tried witch hazel, turmeric powder, radishes and milk, prep h, ice and heat. I think I’m running out of options. I guess I’ll give the Vick’s vapor rub a try., anything to get the swelling down.

  8. Lea

    I’ve been suffering miserably to the point of tears. Finally! Tonight my tears are from laughter (the best medicine, right?). I appreciate everyone willing to share their trials. Typical OTC remedies were NOT working for me. Today I tried organic ACV. That relief was nearly instant but I’m hesitant of any long term results. I feel brave enough to try Vics as my next resort. I SERIOUSLY appreciate the testimonies.

    • Anna

      Did you try the Vic’s? If so, did it work?

      • Reshmi

        It worked perfectly… I suffer chronic haemorrhoids. First time ever I used vicks vapo rub… I can’t believe how fast it worked… I have been in so much pain.. using all sorts of creams for years.. I prepared my mind today that it was gonna burn from all the reviews ever.. and took up the courage and used it… I was so relieved within 10 mins. Thank you vicks…

      • sandy
        dubuque ia

        yes I did use vicks and it works. I tried sos so many things and I am glad I tried it.

  9. RAM

    Well I have been in misery with hemorrhoids for a long while! Tried prescription meds, over the counter meds….nothing gave me relief. I found this web site and read all the info, immediately went to the drug store and bought the Vicks. I had to relieve the pain, couldn’t take it anymore! So I put on the Vicks…no burning…cooling relief, half an hour the pain was gone! And the hemorrhoids did shrink! Next day no pain! Just not sure how often to use the Vicks…any info would be great! Happy I found this site! Vicks is a must try!!!

    • Adolf
      Phila. PA

      Have used the Vicks remedy for over 40 years. Relief is almost immediate. I came upon this by accident. I could not afford the OTC or prescription meds that did work, ever try to carry a tube or suppository around in the summer heat? Instant melt. I put some Vicks on it, I was working in a Drug Manufacturing Facility at the time. The hemorrhoid pain went away and shrank to disappear, hardly to reappear on rare occasion. I was scheduled to see a Proctologist for surgical removal. I remember the pain my Father went through when he had that done.

      I went to see the Doctor and he examined me and said he could not find any sign of enlargement and we cancelled the procedure. He was puzzled and I said it was a miracle cure. Didn’t tell him what I used. Told my Physician who was a Family friend and he laughed and said he would tell patients to try this. Nowadays a Patient would likely sue him such advice as it is not in any Medical Journal.

  10. Stacey
    los Angeles

    I was terrified to try this. My mom told me it hurt like heck. My hemmed felt like a balloon ready to pop and my last resort Was sitting in the med cabinet. I bit my lip and went for it hoping and fingers crossed that I wouldn’t scream. To my surprise it was not painful at all and I got instant relief. Thanks to all of your brave stories I took the next step and feel amazingly better.

  11. Angie
    West Virginia

    After experiencing extreme pain, burning and itching from a thrombosed hemorrhoid for just a day (which was enough) I was desperate to find anything that would help. I know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. However, when you’re in excruciating pain, you’ll do just about anything. Well, I put some Vicks Vapor Rub on some toilet tissue and applied a little bit to my hemorrhoid. I was crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t send me over the edge I was already dangling on. WHAT A RELIEF!!! Feels SO much better!! Wish I would have known about this sooner. Would have staved off a few sleepless nights in the past. Thank you, thank you!!

  12. jojo

    My anal area is in pretty bad shape due to years of frequent bowel movements because of colitis and all of my Colon having been removed over 20 years ago. I have raw, burning and itching hemorrhoids and having a bowel movement is hell and getting the burning to stop afterwards is nearly impossible. I’ve spent a small fortune over the years trying to find relief. I stumbled upon the vicks on my own and it does give me great temporary relief from the discomfort but I’m concerned because I read somewhere that if the skin is broken I can get camphor poisoning. Does anyone know anything about this? Also I’m seeking a remedy to heal the raw areas. It’s not easy to heal when I have frequent loose bowel movements.

  13. Tim

    If I was better with words I’d craft them in a way that my sincerity would be undeniable to all when I say – this worked.

    If you’re scared of the possible burning – start with the smallest amount possible and work up. Nothing, except a solid night sleep has ever worked this well for me.

    • Nikki

      I too get irritate the area( rushes) when I had to go so many times and I have a mild hemorrhoid too. I apply clobetasol ointment at the bed time to the area will help rushes to heal overnight. I apply day time when I am having a bad rushes.
      I get it from my doctor. For the hemo , I sit on the ice pack or ice bag while I am on PC for a long time. It is so soothing to my hemo. I recommend anyone to try it. But it about time to get rid of it so I am going to try Vics myself to see how it works.
      I hope you’ll find a relief.

  14. eu

    Yes, it works on hemorrhoids better than the expensive creams sold for that purpose. Its a miracle cream.

  15. jeevan

    Very informative

  16. Raven

    It sure does work!!! Thank you guys…it was such a relief. :)

  17. Sidekick

    Vicks Vapor Rub = glorious relief for hemorrhoids!
    After many sleepless nights and trying the usual warm baths, ointments, cold compresses, I was so glad that I found this information during my web search.
    The combination of refrigerated witch hazel-soaked baby wipes as a compress and Vicks has brought me complete relief. Luckily, I have no bleeding or broken skin so there was no stinging at all, just a very cold, soothing feeling which lasts for 4 or more hours. Amazing!

  18. RWI

    I read this last week and thought everyone was crazy. Last night I woke up with an itch so bad that I scratched until I stared bleeding. That’s when I said “Well this is gonna probably hurt like hell but what do I have to lose.” Sweet mother of Mary the first 10 seconds burned like everyone else said plus a had a cut down there. But after the 10 seconds it was sweet bliss, I could finally sit on a chair without a hemorrhoid cushion. I kid you not in one night my Hemorrhoid has shrank by 25% Thank you all for the advice! I have a happy bum again.

  19. beth

    Im going to try, but does vicks also help the hemorrhoid shrink or go away?

  20. RaDel

    I tried Vicks this morning. I had relief almost instantly. No more sting. I thank everyone on this site as you all gave me the courage to give it a go. Am definitely a lot more comfortable.

  21. vsf

    Vick works great. In desperation like everyone else, I’ve tried it.
    Recommend to all. You got nothing to lose!

  22. Hs3

    Ok everybody I am going to try Vicks vapor rub

  23. Meek

    Holy Hannah! I have been incapacitated by a hemorrhoid for two days although I have had them for four. I was doing all the remedies… sitz bath, ice, sitz bath, ice and I was in hell… and yes I was using OTC ointments as well. It got so bad today I had to take a Valium, and I HATE drugs. I stumbled on the Vicks suggestion then looked at this site… and decided to take the risk.
    That was 15 minutes ago and I am 95% pain free… Seriously… if could hug everyone of you right now, I would. Good God I am going to get a good nights sleep. I am a big guy, a trainer and weight lifter and I am damn near tears in gratitude. I understand if you are hesitant and I made the choice in desperation but I wish I had acted even just a minute earlier.

    • Gladys

      Ok I have been in so much pain for 2 days but was scared of vic but going to go home now and try as I need a sleep and to be able to sit and walk without pain

  24. SG

    I have been miserable for over a week and after reading this post mixed some vicks with some viscous lidocaine and applied it. Wow what relief! The viscous lidocaine is a prescription but it’s worth trying to get your hands on. I have the cooling feeling from the vicks and the pain relief from the lidocaine.

  25. SSJ

    I too have tried all remedies including stretching, which I felt help straighten out the bulge. Ice was the next step. Cooled the bulge nicely. Then I took the plunge and used Vic for the first time, about 10 minutes ago. Wow! The cooling effect is fantastic. Even if it does not effect a cure at least I have found some relief. I shall sleep well tonight. I will report back in a couple of days.

  26. kz

    Thank you for suggesting Vicks. The intense itch woke me up at 4:00 in the morning. I tried hydrocortisone cream, that didn’t help. I figured like everyone else, what I had to lose. I applied the Vicks, it stung for 10 seconds and then no more itch or pain. For the first time in 3 weeks I am comfortable.

  27. RB

    I can not believe this actually works. Mine have been swollen & bleeding for at least a month. The itching is enough to drive anyone insane. I was online searching for a hemorrhoid spray. The reviews are pretty good but the price is pretty high, like $20 for an ounce. While searching about the spray, came across this site. Just like everyone else, thought what do I have to lose? I was amazed. Feels like I have an ice cube between my cheeks. Still experiencing a little itch, but nothing like before, and the pain is virtually gone. Thank you all so much!!!

  28. GM

    Hi, thought it only fair that I share my experience seeing as I got the Vicks tip on here. I have been suffering pretty badly with hemorrhoids for a couple of years and other the last year have undergone banding 3 times without any real success and my consultant was saying that the next time he see’s me if there was no improvement that we would have to look at having an operation.
    I was desperate to avoid this as one of the risks involved is incontinence and I think I would rather have the pain and discomfort than that. Anyway after reading the Vicks tip I thought why not give it a try which I did just under 3 weeks ago and WOW just amazing my condition is 90% better already not fully cured but can see that happening pretty soon, I am also now using fybogel which helps me to go once properly in the morning which also helps a lot, so thanks for the tip I can’t wait to tell my consultant at the beginning of march, be interesting to see what he says.

  29. DML

    I havent suffered from “hemmies” as long as some of the folks commenting on here, but wish to convey HUGE thanks to those who suggested the Vicks. The Vicks INSTANTLY took away the pain and itching I had been experiencing for almost 3 days. Now I can comfortably sit on the couch or a hard chair to do computer related work. Thanks a million!

  30. Jodi

    Ok, you just made me bust a ‘rhoid laughing my butt off cuz I was thinking the same thing LOL GMTA!

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