Jar of Vicks VapoRub

Q. Have you ever heard of anyone being allergic to Vicks VapoRub? A few days ago I had some congestion, and instead of taking a decongestant I decided to try rubbing a small amount of Vicks on my chest before going to bed.  The next morning the area where I had rubbed the Vicks was red and warm to the touch and very itchy. Over the next two days, it went from itching to burning and the area showed little bumps.

A. We wouldn’t be at all surprised that you could be allergic to ingredients in Vicks. People can be allergic to almost anything, from prescription drugs to herbs. From now on, we suggest you stay away from Vicks VapoRub and its ingredients (camphor, eucalyptus oil, menthol, cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, thymol and turpentine oil).

Join Over 120,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

Each week we send two free email newsletters with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies and a preview of our award-winning radio show. Join our mailing list and get the information you need to make confident choices about your health.

  1. sahira

    I heard that we can use it on belly with plastic sheet to loose belly fat i did the same only once and now it itches alot burning sensation and needle feeling at the area…

  2. Yeltsin

    I used the vicks inhaler and sad to say the symptoms were like yours… For a few minutes a small to large variety of reddish/bumpy rashes and it was sooo itchy that my whole body covered with island like bumps and it was sooo red. I tried to do a confirmation if it was the causative agent of my allergy. Again i tried to inhale a little bit of it and my assumption was correct. So i needed to refrain using it

  3. Sylvia
    South Africa

    I have been using Vicksburg vapour rub on my feet. Now it appears I have a rash and itchy toes. Help

  4. Siggy

    I have been allergic to Vicks for a while. Remember my dad loved it and actually took a spoon of it when he had a cold….Do put a little on my dogs tails because fleas/ticks hate it and it is a natural repellant!

  5. RuralARMom

    my son has sensitive skin and often breaks out – moisturizers, vicks, axe body spray. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to bother him very much, he just gets little bitty bumps. I make sure he gets extra-gentle sensitive skin shower gel and use unscented dryer sheets and hypoallergenic laundry detergent like dreft. And vicks never goes on his skin – I put some vapo steam in a warm air humidifier when his seasonal allergies act up if he is extra congested, but usually just the extra moisture seems to help him breath easier.

  6. Bea
    New York

    I have a cold. I applied Vick Vaporub to my chest and under my nose area. Went to sleep. I woke up I was sweating on chest area. I went back to sleep and woke up again coughing phlegm and mucus. Lots of it. I was afraid. I thought I could not breathe. I then thought maybe it is doing it job so to speak. Please explain.

  7. Mayra C.

    I only rubbed the vaporub on her chest of my daughter and throat, then an hour later I saw her throat and chest were red and also had bumps. She was asleep and woke up saying she didn’t feel good, she was itchy so I checked the rest of her body. She had bumps on her back, stomach, the worst bumps the biggest were by her pelvis area a couple on her legs. I took her out the blankets, and the redness from her chest went away so I layed her down. And only covered her from her belly button down, and checked later and that was still bad. So I decided to just completely take the blankets off, and it all went down. I think they vaporub and the heat made the reaction, it went away on its own within an hour.

  8. Mary

    The same thing happened to me…..I used vicks vaporub and now my neck and chest are red, itchy and i even have small pimples …. how do i get rid of all of it? please help!

  9. john

    Same symptons, I itched all night after using it, got no sleep, never itched like this in my life. I used Vicks vapor rub as a child, so I though it would be fine…Never again.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted.