Is Vicks Good for Eczema? Find Out How Vicks Vapor Rub Can Help Alleviate Eczema Symptoms

Have a case of eczema that just won’t disappear? Here’s a surprising solution that may just do the trick: Vicks!

Yes, you read that right. The same brand that provides soothing relief to your cough and cold may actually also work wonders for your skin condition. And before you dismiss this as another bogus health claim, hear me out.

For years, people have been using Vicks to alleviate the irritating symptoms of eczema. From itchiness to redness, this mentholated ointment seems to offer a quick fix that lasts longer than many other common eczema treatments out there. But how exactly does it work?

What is eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by red, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin that may become dry, cracked, and scaly. The severity and extent of eczema can vary widely, from mild, occasional rashes to severe, widespread outbreaks that can severely impact a person’s quality of life and well-being.

Eczema is a complex condition that can have many underlying causes, including genetics, environmental triggers, allergies, and stress. It is most commonly diagnosed in infants and young children, but can also affect adults of any age. While eczema is not contagious, it can be a frustrating and challenging condition to manage and may require ongoing treatment and care.

What causes eczema?

Eczema is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide, with symptoms ranging from mild itching to severe inflammation and discomfort.

  • Genetics: Some studies suggest that eczema can be inherited from one or both parents with specific genetic mutations.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors such as pollen, dust, or pet dander can trigger eczema flare-ups in some people.
  • Immune system dysfunction: Eczema is often associated with an overactive immune system, leading to excessive inflammation and skin reactions. In addition, people with certain immune system disorders are at higher risk for developing eczema.

While the exact cause of eczema is unclear, researchers believe that a combination of genetic and environmental factors contribute to its development. Understanding what causes eczema can help individuals manage their symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

It is important to note that eczema triggers can vary from person to person. Certain foods, stress, and even hormonal changes can trigger eczema symptoms in some people. To identify your triggers, keep a diary of activities and foods that seem to cause a flare-up and share them with your doctor.

Common Ecze​​ma Triggers Examples
Environmental Irritants Alcohol, smoke, pollen, pet dander, mold
Food Allergens Eggs, milk, soy, wheat, nuts, seafood
Stress Work pressure, relationship problems, financial stress

Once you identify your triggers, it is essential to avoid or limit exposure to them to manage your eczema symptoms. In addition, topical medications, such as creams and ointments, can help reduce inflammation and itching. If your eczema symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe oral medications or recommend light therapy.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic skin condition that affects approximately 31.6 million people in the United States alone. While eczema affects people of all ages, it is most common in children. But what exactly are the symptoms of eczema? Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Itchy skin: One of the most common symptoms of eczema is dry, itchy skin. It can become so bothersome that it disrupts a person’s daily routine, including sleep.
  • Rash: Eczema can cause a red, itchy rash to appear on the affected area. This rash can become scaly, crusty, and raw if it is scratched.
  • Skin inflammation: People with eczema may experience skin inflammation, which can cause the affected area to become swollen and tender.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have eczema, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. In the meantime, there are ways to manage eczema symptoms:

  • Avoid irritants: Certain substances can irritate sensitive skin, leading to eczema flare-ups. Limiting exposure to known irritants, such as strong soaps and detergents, can help reduce symptoms.
  • Moisturize: Dry skin can exacerbate eczema symptoms. Applying a moisturizer to the skin regularly can help keep it hydrated and reduce itching.
  • Cold compress: Applying a cold, damp cloth to the affected area can help relieve itching and inflammation.

Overall, understanding eczema symptoms is important for proper diagnosis and treatment. By recognizing these symptoms, managing the condition becomes easier and quality of life can be improved.


National Eczema Association. (n.d.). Eczema Prevalence and Incidence Research.

Mayo Clinic. (2021, January 30). Atopic dermatitis (eczema).

Symptom Description
Itchy Skin Dry, itchy skin that can become so bothersome that it disrupts a person’s daily routine including sleep.
Rash A red, itchy rash that can become scaly, crusty, and raw if scratched.
Skin Inflammation Swollen, tender skin that can be painful.

(Mayo Clinic, 2021).

What Triggers Eczema?

Eczema, also known as dermatitis, is a condition that can cause red, itchy, and inflamed skin. It can appear anywhere on the body and can be triggered by a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common eczema triggers:

  • Genetics: Eczema can run in families, and people with a family history of the condition may be more likely to develop it.
  • Environmental allergens: Substances in the environment, such as pollen, mold, and dust mites, can trigger eczema in some people.
  • Irritants: Exposure to chemicals or irritants, such as harsh soaps, cleaning products, and even certain fabrics, can cause eczema flare-ups.

In addition to these triggers, stress, hormonal changes, and certain foods may also play a role in eczema development and flare-ups.

It is important to identify individual triggers in order to prevent and manage eczema symptoms. Keeping a diary of symptoms and identifying possible triggers can help manage eczema-related symptoms. Avoiding triggers and regularly moisturizing the skin can help with the prevention of eczema symptoms. In some cases, topical or systemic treatments may be necessary for symptom management.

Possible Eczema Triggers Possible Prevention Strategies
Environmental allergens Avoiding known allergens through allergy testing and environmental control measures, such as air purifiers and mattress protectors
Irritants Avoiding exposure to harsh chemicals and irritants, and switching to gentle formulations of personal care products
Stress and Hormonal Changes Implementing stress-management techniques and avoiding stress triggers may help prevent hormonal fluctuations and manage skin reactions
Foods Avoiding trigger foods and substances, known to cause skin inflammation in some people

By understanding eczema triggers and taking steps to avoid them, it is possible to manage eczema-related symptoms and improve overall skin health.

How to treat eczema?

Eczema is a chronic skin condition that can cause an itchy, red rash that can be painful and difficult to manage. Here are some ways to treat eczema:

  • Moisturize: Keeping your skin hydrated is essential to treating eczema. Use a heavy, fragrance-free moisturizer to lock in moisture.
  • Avoid Triggers: Identify and avoid any triggers that might be causing your eczema to flare up, such as certain fabrics or food allergies.
  • Medications: Topical corticosteroids or topical calcineurin inhibitors can help relieve itching and redness.
  • Lifestyle changes: Avoiding hot showers, wearing loose, breathable clothing, and managing stress are all important ways to manage eczema.
  • Alternative therapies: Some people find relief with natural remedies such as coconut oil, probiotics, and oatmeal baths. However, it’s important to talk to a doctor before trying any alternative therapies.

Preventing Eczema Flares

In addition to treating eczema, it’s important to try and prevent flares. Here are some strategies that can help:

  • Identify and avoid triggers: Keep a journal to identify what triggers your eczema and try to avoid these triggers if possible.
  • Keep skin moisturized: Use a thick, fragrance-free moisturizer every day to keep your skin from becoming too dry.
  • Avoid hot showers: Hot water can dry out your skin, so stick to lukewarm water when showering or bathing.
  • Wear loose, breathable clothes: Avoid tight or scratchy clothing that can irritate your skin.
  • Manage stress: Stress can trigger an eczema flare, so try to manage stress through activities such as yoga, meditation, or exercise.

Prescription Medications for Eczema

If over-the-counter treatments aren’t effective, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat your eczema. Some common prescription medications for eczema include:

  • Topical corticosteroids: These are anti-inflammatory creams or ointments that can help relieve itching and redness.
  • Topical calcineurin inhibitors: These are creams that block a protein that causes inflammation in the skin.
  • Oral antihistamines: These can help relieve itching and are often used to treat eczema in children.
  • Phototherapy: This involves exposing the skin to controlled amounts of natural or artificial light to help reduce inflammation.
  • Oral corticosteroids: These are powerful anti-inflammatory medications that may be used for severe cases of eczema, but they can have side effects and are not recommended for long-term use.

Eczema Treatment: Medications vs. Natural Remedies

Both prescription medications and natural remedies can be effective for treating eczema. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before trying any natural remedies, as some of these remedies may not be safe or may interact with other medications. Additionally, natural remedies may not be as effective as prescription medications for severe cases of eczema.

Prescription Medications Natural Remedies
Topical corticosteroids Coconut oil
Topical calcineurin inhibitors Probiotics
Oral antihistamines Oatmeal baths
Phototherapy Vitamin D
Oral corticosteroids Tea tree oil

Ultimately, the best treatment plan for eczema will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying causes of your eczema. Be sure to work closely with a doctor or dermatologist to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your individual needs.

What is Vicks?

Vicks is a brand of over-the-counter medications that includes vapour rubs, cough syrups, nasal sprays, and inhalers. The brand became popular due to its effective and diverse use, offering relief from symptoms like coughing, congestion, headaches, and minor muscle aches.

Active ingredients in Vicks products typically include camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil, amongst others, which provide a cooling sensation and alleviate symptoms.

What are the ingredients of Vicks?

Before considering the effectiveness of Vicks for eczema, it is important to have an understanding of its ingredients. Vicks is manufactured by Procter & Gamble and comes in different variants, including VapoRub, VapoSteam, and VapoInhaler.

The active ingredients in VapoRub are camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol while VapoSteam contains camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol. On the other hand, VapoInhaler contains levmetamfetamine and camphor.

  • Camphor: This ingredient is extracted from the bark of camphor trees and has a cooling effect on the skin. It is known to provide pain relief and act as a cough suppressant.
  • Eucalyptus oil: This essential oil is extracted from eucalyptus leaves and has a refreshing scent and cooling effect. It is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and act as a decongestant.
  • Menthol: This compound is derived from peppermint oil and provides a cooling sensation when applied to the skin. It is known to provide pain relief and act as a decongestant.
  • Levmetamfetamine: This ingredient is a nasal decongestant and is used in VapoInhaler to treat nasal congestion.

However, it is worth noting that Vicks also contains inactive ingredients such as cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petrolatum, thymol, and turpentine oil. These ingredients are used to enhance the fragrance and consistency of the product.

It is important to note that some people may have an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in Vicks. In case of any allergic reaction or irritation, discontinue use immediately and consult a physician.

Active Ingredients VapoRub VapoSteam VapoInhaler
Camphor 4.8% 4.8% 42.6%
Eucalyptus oil 1.2% 1.2% N/A
Menthol 2.6% 2.6% N/A
Levmetamfetamine N/A N/A 0.05%

The above table provides a breakdown of the active ingredients and their percentages in each of the Vicks variants.

How to use Vicks for eczema?

Eczema can be a frustrating condition to manage, but using Vicks Vaporub can provide some relief. Here are some tips on how to use Vicks for eczema:

  • Clean the affected area with mild soap and warm water, then dry thoroughly.
  • Apply a small amount of Vicks to the affected area, making sure to rub it in gently.
  • Repeat this process twice a day, or as needed for relief from symptoms.

Vicks contains ingredients like camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, which can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. However, it’s important to note that Vicks should not be used on open wounds or broken skin, as it could cause irritation or infection.

Some people also find relief by applying Vicks to the soles of their feet, or by wearing socks or gloves to help the Vicks penetrate the skin.

Other tips for managing eczema

In addition to using Vicks, there are several other things you can do to manage eczema:

  • Avoid triggers like harsh soaps, detergents, and fragrances.
  • Moisturize regularly with a gentle, fragrance-free lotion or cream.
  • Avoid scratching the affected area, as this can aggravate the condition.
  • Take short, lukewarm baths instead of hot showers, and pat the skin dry with a soft towel.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing made of natural fibers like cotton.
  • If your eczema is severe or persistent, see a dermatologist for treatment options like prescription creams or phototherapy.

Side effects of using Vicks for eczema

While Vicks is generally safe for use on the skin, some people may experience side effects like:

  • Redness or irritation
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Rash or hives

If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using Vicks and talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They may recommend an alternative treatment or suggest ways to manage your symptoms.


Vicks Vaporub can provide temporary relief from symptoms of eczema, thanks to its soothing ingredients. However, it’s important to use it properly and avoid skin irritation by not using it on broken or open skin. Additionally, it’s crucial to practice good skincare habits and seek medical treatment if your symptoms persist or worsen over time.

Vicks ingredients: Camphor, menthol, eucalyptus oil, cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, thymol
Best for: Mild eczema symptoms like itching and inflammation
Worst for: Severe eczema or open wounds

Overall, Vicks can be a helpful addition to your eczema management routine, but it’s important to use it safely and in conjunction with other treatments like moisturizers and avoidance of eczema triggers.

What are the potential side effects of using Vicks for eczema?

While Vicks is a popular solution for various respiratory problems, some people use it as a remedy for eczema. However, using Vicks for eczema may come with unwanted side effects. It is essential to understand these potential side effects before using Vicks for eczema treatment.

  • Skin irritation: Vicks Vapor Rub contains menthol, which can cause skin irritation in some people. When applied to eczema-affected skin, it can worsen the condition and cause further inflammation.
  • Allergic reactions: People with sensitive skin could experience allergic reactions to the ingredients of Vicks. Allergic reactions could manifest as skin irritation, redness, swelling, or hives.
  • Damage to the skin barrier: Eczema involves a damaged skin barrier, which is essential to retain moisture and protect the skin from harmful bacteria. Vicks contains ingredients that can damage the skin barrier and cause further complications, including bacterial infections.

Using Vicks for eczema treatment is not advisable without the guidance of a healthcare professional. While anecdotal evidence suggests that it may ease eczema symptoms, the potential side effects outweigh the benefits. Moreover, the National Eczema Association recommends avoiding topical treatments that contain irritants like camphor and menthol, both of which can be found in Vicks Vapor Rub. Dermatologists recommend using other eczema treatment options that are safer and more effective, including prescription creams and moisturizers.

Remember, eczema is a chronic skin condition that requires consistent care and monitoring. If you experience eczema flare-ups, we recommend visiting a healthcare professional who can provide proper guidance and make appropriate treatment recommendations.

Side effects of Vicks for eczema What it means
Skin irritation The menthol in Vicks can cause skin irritation, which can worsen eczema symptoms.
Allergic Reactions People with sensitive skin could experience allergic reactions to the ingredients in Vicks, resulting in skin irritation, redness, swelling or hives.
Damage to the skin barrier Vicks contains ingredients that can damage the skin barrier and cause further complications, including bacterial infections, which can worsen eczema symptoms.

What are some alternative remedies for eczema?

Eczema can cause a lot of discomfort and leave individuals searching for effective remedies. In addition to traditional treatments, there are some alternative remedies that may also provide relief.

  • Coconut oil: is one of the most popular alternative remedies for eczema. It is an excellent moisturizer for the skin and can help reduce inflammation and itching.
  • Colloidal oatmeal: is another effective natural remedy for eczema. It helps soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and may even provide mild protection against UV radiation.
  • Probiotics: are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for the body and can also help reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that probiotics may be effective in reducing symptoms of eczema.

It’s important to note that not all natural remedies will be effective for every individual with eczema. It’s important to experiment and find what works best for you.

If natural remedies don’t work for you, there are some alternative treatments that may be worth considering. Some of these treatments include:

  • Acupuncture: This alternative treatment involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific points. Some studies suggest that acupuncture may be effective in reducing symptoms of eczema.
  • Massage therapy: can help reduce stress levels, which can help improve eczema symptoms. Massage therapy can also help stimulate the lymphatic system, which helps eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine: focuses on balancing the body’s energy and can be an effective treatment for eczema. It may involve herbal remedies, acupuncture, and dietary changes.

While these treatments may provide relief for some individuals with eczema, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any alternative treatments.

Treatment type: Possible benefits for eczema:
Coconut oil Moisturizes and reduces inflammation and itching
Colloidal oatmeal Reduces inflammation and soothes the skin
Probiotics Reduces inflammation
Acupuncture May reduce symptoms of eczema
Massage therapy Reduces stress levels and stimulates the lymphatic system
Traditional Chinese medicine Focuses on balancing the body’s energy to improve eczema symptoms

It’s important to remember that while these alternative remedies and treatments may provide relief for some individuals, they are not a substitute for medical advice from a healthcare professional. It’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any alternative remedies or treatments for eczema.

Thanks for reading!

So, is Vicks good for eczema? While there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that Vicks can provide relief for some eczema symptoms, it is not a scientifically proven treatment option or a replacement for prescribed medication. It’s important to consult with a dermatologist for personalized eczema treatment recommendations. We hope this article has helped you in some way and we look forward to seeing you again soon for more helpful health and wellness content!