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Is Vicks Dangerous Against Hemorrhoids?

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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:

" 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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"I think most people will respond with such well-known expressions as, 'Shots fired! Officer down! We have casualties!'"

I think the expression he was looking for was: "Fire in the hole!!"

Re: Reactions to Vicks for hemorrhoids - after reading multiple success stories on your web site as well as warnings for usage, in desperation I tried the Vicks --externally only. It works the miracles no other pharmacy product could accomplish, ridding the itching, swelling, pain. Yes, the initial sensation is a quick burn, but once you experience it, it doesn't seem bad thereafter, and is quite tolerable considering the results. To borrow another product's mantra: A LITTLE dab will do ya.

My daughter suffered terribly for years and in silence from huge hemorrhoids. She started to miss work because of pain until in desperation, she asked for help. Dr visit was no help. I suggested several things to try immediately: one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses mixed in a little milk twice a day. Soak in a very warm bath with epsom salts at least once a day. Strong antibiotic cream applied externally. Keep diet soft to minimize irritating during bowel movements. It took about 8 - 10 days but the steady improvement has been amazing and continues. Pain is almost completely gone and her life is so much better.

Re: Reactions to Vicks for hemorrhoids - I don't have any experience with hemorrhoids, but for decades have used Vicks on the anal area whenever tenderness occurs due to diarrhea or when using the prep for a colonoscopy makes my poor bum raw. Regarding the latter, it would hurt so bad when I'd have the next fluid BM that I would cry out in pain. Putting a bit of Vicks on toilet tissue and gently applying to the area burns initially, but QUICKLY abates leaving a cooling sensation and almost instant relief. It heals the soreness quickly. I wouldn't be without a jar of Vicks in my bathroom.

Just as folks have different reactions to spicy foods, I suspect there might be a correlation to sensations at the exit site as well. It is menthol and other stimulating substances, so one would expect a range of reactions in a range of individuals. Plus there may be a correlation between the pain of the hemorrhoid and the feeling of relief. The more the pain the more relief perceived.

I've found great relief from hemorrhoid itch by applying a dab of Noxema (original version) with a finger in the anus. Seems to help all day.

I had a toe fungus. After my shower, I sprayed white vinegar, then applied Vicks vapor tub. I wore a clean cotton sock. After a few weeks, a new nail started to grow. Another few weeks passed, the new nail reached the end of the nail. I was able to cut away the old nail and the new nail. No more fungus.

Oh my god! I'm crying, but not because I tried Vics Vaporub on my rhoids....! I can't stop laughing! Thank you!!! So much for this article! If laughing can get rid of them, I'm on my way to a cure. Thank you People's Pharmacy!

I saw a health show about how Resveratrol works great on vericose veins. They said hemorrhoids are just vericose veins down there. I took Resveratrol for a few months with no improvement. On this same health show one day I saw that if you were having these vein problems you needed to take FIVE HUNDRED MG. of Resveratrol, I wasn't taking enough. After 7 weeks at the 500 MG. dosage the hemorrhoids were gone and haven't returned. I had a pretty bad case too.

I had a hemorrhoid operation years ago. The nurse would bring a Witch Hazel soaked cloth to put on the 'rhoids and leave it for a while. It stops the swelling and itching. No burning.

What is Reseratrol and where do you buy it Big John? I have both hemorrhoids and vericose veins.

WITCH HAZEL IS MORE SOOTHING FOR HEMORRHOIDS. I keep a spray bottle filled with witch hazel in the bathroom. I spray some on toilet tissue to wipe the hemorrhoids. It is very soothing - gentle & pain goes away.

Try the witch hazel for something more soothing. You will be glad you did.

Vicks Vaporub works wonders on the skin on the heels of my feet. The skin on my heels split and are very sore and painful in cold weather and often in warm weather as well. My doctor told me about Vicks Vaporub about 2 years ago and I use it twice a day, everyday, in the morning and before bed (always wear thin socks after applying)!! I have not had split, open, sore skin on the heels of my feet ever since I have used Vicks Vaporub. It is a miracle remedy.

Orajel works wonder.... a little dab, the pain and itching is gone!!!!

Well, this remedy is primarily meant to be used upon skin without sores, and it actually causes an increased inflammatory reaction, and it stimulates the nerves in the area intensely. Used upon hemorrhoids where the skin is injured and there is already inflammation can cause strong reactions.

I suffered for a whole day with mine, doing nothing, and the second night when I couldn't sleep due to discomfort, swelling and pain I came online to see if there was any home remedies I could try. I saw this 'vicks' trick and thought, what the heck. The person that complained about the 'fire in his cockpit' was obviously a man and, knowing that men can't handle pain like we can I tried it.

As one person said, a little dab'll do ya. So that's just what I did and immediately, the swelling and pain went down and I was back to sleep within 20 minutes. It's like a now I'll be investigating what other magic vicks can do ;)

I've been suffering from hemorrhoids but I came across this website and thank you people's pharmacy VICK'S Vaporub worked for me wonders it didn't just stop the itching and burning sensation but it reduced my hemorrhoids, so blessed I found this home remedy...

The vicks vapor worked great.

After years of suffering, I tried Vicks Vapor Rub and it is awesome! and I had no "fire in the hole". Also great for fungus.

I've used Vicks on bug bites for years and it's worked wonders! After reading these testimonials I used it on my bum in an act of desperation. It not only works, it feels so soothing. It's also a lot less embarrassing to carry around Vicks in my purse than an actual hemorrhoid cream. haha Thank you!

It does sting a little at first and if its cut then that area might sting a lot more but it does make them feel better I just tried it about 5 min ago and it feels much better hopefully it goes away soon but the vicks was worth the shot.

Have just tried vicks hurt for a few seconds then began to feel better. Have tried loads of over the counter remedies that have made me worse if anything. Thanks guys

Vicks works better than anything. I've tried it all and if you use it morning and night they are virtually nonexistent. Use clean toilet paper and wipe the container, then wipe area. Will burn for a few, then cooling results. And inexpensive.

I found the best way to numb the pain. Aloe vera with benzocain, yeah for sun burns. The benzocain numbs the pain and cools the area for a while. OMG it's the only way I survived. But don't use it on an open sore because the pain is intense for about 30secs but it will numb you after the pain. Good luck

Was abit sceptical of the old vicks round the ring, but the immense pain made me try it, WOW! Burns for about 10 seconds then feels cool, no itching, lovely job.

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

Had this song in my head all day due to pain and then I found this page and holy crap, what a relief! Great advice!

I have been putting Vicks on my hemorrhoids for years. the doc says it's ok and it stops the old farmer giles from giving me jip! Once by mistake I put deep heat on them in the middle of the night. did that make me dance? sure did but do you know, no more piles for 6 months! I do not recommend deep heat, but Vicks is ok.

Just had the hub put some vicks on my roid...didnt burn a bit...feels like I stuck my butt in freezer....hope this works :/... Or I'll be back for another surgically removed hemorrhoid visit...

Used vicks on my hemorrhoids for the first time. Now I have soooo much relief, didn't burn and it doesn't feel as sore thank you all.

I have had hemorrhoid so for a number of years and no pain until today and since I have had Vicks in my medicine cabinet for years I applied and "fire" is putting it mildly, but my family's philosophy has always been "rub dirt on it and move on" so I bit the bullet and after a few minutes I just felt cooling.

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

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!

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.

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ok everybody I am going to try Vicks vapor rub

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

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.

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

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.

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!

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

Very informative

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

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