Vicks VapoRub has a number of unusual uses. It can act as a fungal treatment for an infected toe or fingernail, an overnight hand cream, or even as a headache remedy. Some jockeys rub the ointment around their horse's nostrils to ensure they maintain focus in a race.
Vicks VapoRub was invented by a pharmacist, Lunsford Richardson, over a hundred years ago. It was originally made as a vapor rub to ease symptoms of the common cold. The remedy is quite popular due to its limited side effects; a major advantage of the ointment is that it does not cause drowsiness.
The ointment contains menthol, camphor, eucalyptus oil, cedar-leaf oil, nutmeg oil, thymol and turpentine oil. The range of ingredients explains its popularity as an alternative treatment for a range of ailments, including aching muscles and joints. The addition of Thymol allows the ointment to cure fungal nail infections; Mayo Clinic advises using it to treat them. Vicks VapoRub also can be useful to quell the itching sensation from mosquito bites.
A popular use is to rub the cream on children's feet at night when they have a cold. This application is capable of clearing chest congestion and reducing cough-like symptoms. The cream is applied to children's feet rather than their chest since children are much more sensitive to its effects than adults.