The Vick's Cure

Liver Damage

If you've got toenail fungus, you know it's darn hard to get rid of for good. While there are effective drugs for the condition, those who take oral prescription medication risk liver damage. That may tend to lead toenail fungus sufferers to look farther afield in their quest for a cure. But according to clinicians at Michigan State University, the perfect drug may be residing in your medicine chest: Vick's VapoRub.
Health care providers at the university found that the mixture of eucalyptus, menthol, camphor, and other oils cleared up the fungus in 32 of 85 patients with the condition. However, the "rub" is that the treatment can take anywhere from 5-16 months.  Another product, Meijer's Medicated Chest Rub, is similarly effective since it contains the same ingredients as its more popular cousin. The Michigan clinicians feel that the use of the mentholated chest rub as a toenail fungus cure works just as well as oral prescription medication but without the attendant health risks.
So how does it work? The oily substance softens the nail, allowing the active ingredients to penetrate through to the fungus beneath the flaky, crumbling nail layers. It is not known which ingredient in the preparation does the trick, but seeing is believing: the stuff apparently works.

Vick's works best on toenail fungus that is not yet advanced to the point where the nail is very thick. To get the best results, you may want to file down the nails to allow the chest rub to better penetrate through to the fungus. Then simply rub a thin layer of the medicated ointment on the affected toes before going to bed at night. You can wear cotton socks to protect your bedding from oily stains.

Be Patient

All that remains is a great deal of patience. The best thing about this homey cure is that it doesn't involve a time commitment as in vinegar or Listerine soaks. It's simple, inexpensive, safe, and if you listen to the good folks in Michigan, very effective at getting rid of toenail fungus.

Like all home-based cures, there's nothing to stop you from using Vick's in conjunction with other treatments to help speed things up a bit. Some patients have also commented on the fact that there may be an emotional component to the Vick's cure. "The smell brings me way back to my childhood and how my mother used to rub Vick's on my chest when I was sick. I definitely associate the smell with love and comfort," says Sherry Lawson* of Ann Arbor, Michigan. "I think there's an unconscious healing process at work because the minute I open the jar and get a whiff of Vick's, I have a sense of well-being."

*Not her real name