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. Carl
    Cheshire UK

    I have recently had a cold…..using vaporub just came to me as an idea, I thought this stuff is astringent it may work. I dad’s some on the hemorrhoid..felt a cool tingling..so thinking this stuff is doing something then a few minutes later..my finger went for a feel….it’s already struck ! I’ve often found the chemist products do little or nothing and more natural gels oils and creams are better…..and hot water helps, like in a shower or bath, plus resting in bed. However right now Vicks vaporub, is proving a great discovery, I will keep applying 😊

  2. In Pain

    Okay, after reading all these posts carefully, I decided to try this experiment. Let me tell you, the only reason I got on here is to WARN ALL OF YOU, do not put Vicks Vapor rub on your Piles/Hemorrhoids. After putting it on, all you feel is a tingly sensation and that is it as far as comfort goes, it’s very short lived and you will put more on.

    What happened is that it made my …bigger I just thought they were growing more. After the day I started to feel more pain and gave up on Vicks. I decided to get over the counter (Pep. H…etc and cream they all have the same ingredients pretty much).

    WOW, let me tell you, after I got the cream on, it felt like my … turned into an F-16s afterburners. I ran instantly to the shower and watered myself down but only to swell up everything down there. What I believe happened is that Vicks most likely cut tiny microscopic abrasions where the topical cream got inside and started to burn like afterburners.

    I only got on here to warn you all please just go buy the topical cream. It is so much better and faster.

    Now that most of the Vicks is gone off of my skin, my hemorrhoids are shrinking. The only thing Vicks did was make it feel good for the first 5 mins of use and just feel but it made everything down there much worse.

    Do not get read into that most of these posts are positive it is a good idea, which I did worst decision of my life. If I would have just gotten the cream and used it the first time, rather than Vicks, it most likely would have been fixed by now. Btw the pain I had wow! Go get the cream, which is intended for its use.

  3. erwin

    Just tried Vicks vapor rub 1st time and almost instantly a relief from pain. With regards to shrinking I still have to monitor, this is the 1st time applying the vapo rub though. Hopefully it will shrink as well as other testimonies here.

  4. Lesley

    Oh my life, what a relief!! Thank you, thank you, thank you

  5. Ann

    I have tried Vick’s — and got the “Mayday tail on fire”! Mentholatum has been my go-to. I have tried the creams and they are not nearly as effective as Mentholated.

  6. Johnathan
    Tampa florida

    Oh my god . ..
    oh my god…
    it work’s it really does Work…
    nothing has worked but this works .
    So happy so so happy..
    please try this for your own piece of mind.
    thank’s all you great people for your impact and information .
    I was really going to some dark places over this pain
    71 day’s of pure misery.
    3 min and instead releaf
    you are All my heroes

  7. Dawn

    I have bee. Putting Vick on my piles for week now and its a instant hit ,what a relief !!!!”

  8. Alexis

    I had not heard of Vicks. My granny used mentholatum. Similar product. Definitely works like a miracle cure.

  9. Tina

    Did any of you have clots in the hammeroid before applying the Vicks. I have no tears but have a clot.

  10. Sandy

    I too suffer and prep h does not work for me. After sitting on hard chairs 8 hours per day for two days at a co french I was ready for radical surgery. I was in so much pain I thought what the heck vapor rub works for everything else.

    I put a small amount on and instant relief. I unfortunately have internal and external plus fissures so wasn’t too sure if I would be looking for a fire hose. Just a little tingling but a good feeling.

  11. Ed

    I grape size lump popped up right next to my anus I assume its a hemy. I already had some internal ones removed a few years ago.
    I decided to try the Vicks after much hesitation. Oh I can tell you it works great for pain and discomfort. Not sure if it will help to reduce size though.

    • Emily

      Hi, just wondering if it did reduce the size. I’ve had an external hemorrhoid going on 5 months now and it no longer hurts or itches, but swelling won’t go down. I’ve tried EVERYTHING and my BMs are regular, eating and exercise is good, etc. but it just won’t shrink.
      I want to try Vick’s but I’m nervous – did yours shrink? That’s my main goal.

  12. David

    Vicks works better then Preparation H. I was told by a doctor to us it and it worked.

  13. Jewel

    If regular Vicks doesn’t work- it caused burning in my case- use the baby Vicks formula. So soothing to irritated skin from all the medicines I’ve been using : analpram, proctosol, tucks, preph, dermaplast. I have an external hem, two and a half weeks now. Baby Vicks was wonderful! No burning or itching, able to make it through a two year old bday party yesterday. Now, no crazy cooling effect and not sure if it helps shrinking. But I’m desperate- and this seemed to do the trick and got me back enjoying regular day to day activities. Also, along with one or two sitz bath each day. No salts either for me-everything burns this thing. Good luck- this has been worse than the delivery and recovery of having my little kiddo.

  14. James

    Well I just tried the Vicks vapor rub idea for getting rid of hemmys, and “WOW”!!! it was like a instant relief… I was just about to make a doctors appointment next week, but now I may not have to, thanks to this possible magic hemmy cure……

  15. Bertie
    Dublin, Ireland

    Hello my fellow haemorrhoid buddies!

    Vicks Vaporub is the name of this miracle cure sent from the heavens. Honestly, I’ve only used it twice and I’m already pain free. Instead of discomfort and pain, I know have a very similar sensation of what your mouth feels like right after using mouthwash, just nice and fresh!

    I also noticed a reduction in size of around 30% since the first application 6 hours ago (This difference has been a Godsend)

    A word of advice, this worked in my particular case, and I only have 1 external HM with no bleeding and no tears. Please make sure that the conflicted area is cleaned properly before you first try this. Double check that you don’t have any open wounds or tears, as this may result in the difference between putting sweet healing fresh nectar or applying molten lava directly on top of your haemorrhoid. Start small, use a tiny amount to experiment and then scale it up.

    In order to keep the area clean, I have used cocoa oil by applying it directly over that little bastard every 4 hours, other times I soaked a cotton pad in a glass with diluted all natural cider vinegar (ratio of 3/1 water/vinegar) and let it sit on the rhoid for 10 minutes (applied every 4 hours as well)

    I also applied a small ice pack wrapped in a clean cloth and put it in direct contact with the devil every 4 hours.

    All jokes aside, the struggle was very intense. I was in a great deal of pain and for over 48 hours, waking up by a very sharp stinging pain and Vick has been the cure. I feel optimistic about my future and I couldn’t give more praise to this product.

    Keep on fighting haemowarriors! It will get better!

  16. Matt
    Tucson az

    Was just interested about the Vicks vapor rub been using pH not working well never had a hemorrhoid my doctor just recommended to use Vicks vapor rub will work extremely faster? Little worried

  17. Linda

    Have been using it occasionally for about a month. I will never buy Prep H again! The cooling sensation was wonderful; I don’t have any broken skin though. Really need this in a tube.

  18. Hannah

    I’m 25 weeks pregnant and just realized yesterday that my mystery butt pain was hemorrhoids! UGH!!!! I was in search of releif and needed to use items I already had at home. I saw a couple recommendations to try vaporub. After reading this article I was very nervous too (didn’t wanna be running around the house screaming with flaming booty). But 90% of the testimonals I read swore it worked almost instantly and painlessly. So with shaking hands and a racing heart I decided to go for it. It was INSTANT sweet relief! I only applied a tiny amount one time last night and 17 hours later I am still pain free (even after my bm this morning)!!! Vaporub is amazing!!!!!

  19. Pa

    Well i m suffering with piles for almost 15 years and i read ur comments after i decided to use vick for it and its unblievable within 30 min my pain discomfort disappear…. its great vick love u

    • shweta

      Yes Vicks viporub is amazing for heamerroids ,I also have terrible attack twice and my use to hurt like hell whille doing motion I know how I suffered with this I can’t express my pain three days back I gone thru with people testimonies about the same issue and thought to apply vicks really it works miraculously and now I m better ,blv me I used all sorts ofmedicines mainly aryuvedic from 10 days but now after using Vicks not my pain gone and it reduced like a tiny pepper seed it really works for me as I am a nurse and I know many medicine but I recommended everyone to use Vicks and I really thanku for this page and the people who share their views about this really don’t want others suffer like me .

  20. martha
    new york

    I’ve had Hemorrhoids before when I was pregnant but this time I awoke in the middle of the night with burning and pain. It surprised me since I had no indication they were coming on and oh boy did they hurt! I had to go pee in which I found out just how bad they hurt after a quick wipe. I didn’t know about Vick’s then although we use it for just about anything. So after a long night of no sleep due to pain and couldn’t get comfortable even if I swung by the ceiling fan at one point I thought might would at least cool them down enough to sleep! After a night of trying to sleep and searching the internet for some comfort after the alarm had went off this morning I found an article about Vick’s.

    Kinda irritated me since I had actually looked at the jar sitting in the bathroom and thought its good for about anything else but was scared to try it. So I read through the comments and they said not to worry it would not burn. so I took a shower and mentally prepared myself to dip my finger in and give it a try! Mind you I left the shower on just in case it was like the 4th of July but to my surprise it actually was an instant relief !! I had to go to work so I decided to put some on a pad and wear it during the day to help with the pain and it worked great!! Im also taking aspirin but just started that a coulple hrs ago and have already noticed the swelling going down!

  21. Ronald J.
    Bluffton IN

    I’ve been interested in doing this myself. But I will tell you of another home remedy that works very well for hemmies. That is milk thistle. It will also shrink your varicose veins to just about nothing. Try it!

  22. Pedro

    At first, i was somehow skeptical to the use of this method, and even more after reading some of the comments in here!
    I tried it at home in my lunch break, and all i can say is that it worked, it didn’t gave me any kind of burning sensation, only relief in the pain.
    I did try it and immediately sat on top of a freezed Gel cold pack for pain therapy , and all i can say is that the only two things i feel right now as i am writting this is a senstional cool feel on my behind and that still lattent bother from the hemmie still not shrinking, but no pain at all!
    This was the best thing i could try, after taking meds like Venex and Daflon, and using creams like Synalar Rectal and Anacal!
    The relief from VaporRub was much more intense!!!
    I’ll try it again when i go home for the day and see how it goes in the morning….
    Thank you very much for this tip!!!

    • Dana
      Madisonville, TN

      How do you use it for varicose veins. Thanks

  23. Linda

    After reading everyone’s testimonials, I had to try this. I bathed a few hrs. Ago.in Epsom salts and hot-ish water. I have hemorrhoids and a partially healed fissure. Didn’t hurt. Feeling pleasantly cool. I am hoping it helps heal them. I will let you know.

    • Mari

      Did the vapor rub heal or shrank the hemorrhoids???

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