It’s deep-heating, but is it antifungal? When nail technician Pam Karousis of Nail Designs Unlimited in Cortland, Ohio, read an article in her local paper suggesting that Vicks VapoRub can cure toenail fun­gus she was understandably skeptical. But she thought of a client’s daughter — a ballet dancer with a severe problem — and asked her to give it a try anyways. The client reported that by the next day the toenail looked better and that in a week the problem was almost gone.

Karousis shared her results with other techs online, and when they tested Vicks on their clients, they reported similarly remarkable result. But before you run out and purchase a case, lis­ten to what the experts say Representatives of manufacturer Procter & Gamble do not recommend the product—the ingredients of which include camphor; menthol, and eucalyptus oil — for any usage other than those on the label. Says dermatologist Phoebe Rich, “It probably won’t hurt anything to try it on toenail fungus, but I can’t imagine that it is consistently effective in treating anything but the mildest nail fungus (which, incidentally, can sometimes go away with no treatment at all)” Podiatrist Ivar Roth is a bit more receptive to the notion, speculating that perhaps the eucalyptus acts like tea tree oil, which is a natural antifungal agent.

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