How to Apply Vicks to Toenail Fungus

Updated February 21, 2017

You won't find instructions on how to use Vicks VapoRub on your toenail fungus on the back of the package, and that is because it is not what the makers of Vicks have intended it for. However, the April 2003 issue of Phytotherapy Research states that the ingredients in Vicks--camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol--when used together are effective in controlling toenail fungus. If you wish to try Vicks as a home treatment, be aware that it may be months before it effectively eradicates the fungus. If at any time during treatment the fungus appears to be getting worse, see your physician.

Trim the toenail that is affected with the nail fungus. Immediately after trimming, cleanse your nail clippers with hot soapy water, then rinse them with rubbing alcohol.

Wash your foot, paying special attention to the nail. Dry it thoroughly with a towel.

Scoop some Vicks out of the container with a spoon. Be sure to use a spoon because you do not want to apply the Vicks to your infected toenail and then stick your finger back into the Vicks. You will use the Vicks on the spoon to apply to your toenail.

Apply the Vicks to your toenail. Be sure to completely cover the nail, getting under the nail and down into the cuticle. To effectively get the Vicks in the edges of, and under, the nail you can use a disposable orange stick or cotton swab.

Rub the Vicks in thoroughly and cover the toe with a bandage or sock. This will help the Vicks absorb, rather than rubbing off on sheets or furnishings.

Repeat this process twice daily, in the morning and evening. Be patient--it may take up to five months before you see progress.


Keep all of your toenails trimmed, dry and clean to prevent developing nail fungus. Immediately wash all towels used on the affected foot.


See your physician if your fungus appears to be getting worse instead of better or if you experience pain, redness or swelling of the toe.

Things You'll Need

  • Nail clippers
  • Towel
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Disposable orange stick or cotton swab
  • Socks or bandages
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About the Author

A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."