Vicks For Earache
Putting a dab of Vicks on a cotton swab and applying it for an earache has taken the internet by storm. Most of the bloggers have been suggesting that if anyone is suffering from an earache then with the help of this remedy, one can easily cure any ear related problems.
However, hold on, just before going with the flow, you should know the basic pros and cons of this treatment. We will help you to realize that whether you should consider the application of this technique on yourself or not.
What is Vicks VapoRub?
We are sure that you would be quite familiar with the ointment Vicks Vaporub. One of the oldest medication sitting in our medicine cabinet, Vicks has always come in handy whenever somebody deals with cough and cold.
Made with active ingredients like eucalyptus oil, methanol and camphor, Vicks Vaporub is our go-to weapon to ease down a cough, congestion, minor aches and pain in the body.
The active ingredients present in Vicks VapoRub are
- Eucalyptus Oil
And present along with are other inactive ingredients like petroleum, turpentine oil, thymol, nutmeg oil and cedar leaf oil. It has been a household staple since 1890.
Vick’s Vaporub is generally available for topical use as a cream or ointment or it is found in a form of tablet for ingestion.
Some of the health benefits provided by Vicks Vaporub are
- Relieving congestion- Vicks has always been hailed as a decongestant. According to a study conducted, children suffering from respiratory problems upon the application of Vicks Vaporub has observed reduced symptoms of the problems and also had better sleep.
Due to the presence of high amounts of methanol and camphor as active ingredients in the ointment, when applied to an affected person it causes a cooling sensation in the nasal passages which trick the brain thinking that it is breathing freely and therefore helps in increasing the quality of sleep.
- Easing Cough- According to the National Institute of Health, Vicks VapoRub is generally prescribed for alleviating cough as it’s natural ingredients camphor, eucalyptus oil and methanol are natural cough suppressants.
However, make note of the fact that Vicks VapoRub is not prescribed for those whose cough has a lot of phlegm or is chronic.
Rub a layer of Vicks VapoRub on your chest and neck and inhale the vapours rising from there. Repeat at least three times for 24hours. Use the VapoRub only on your chest and neck and do not apply it on your nose as the camphor present can be absorbed by mucous membrane and can be toxic for the body.
- Soothing sore muscles- Camphor and methanol are natural analgesics and if you are a person who is suffering from body pain, apply a layer of the VapoRub on the affected area and see the desired results.
Vicks do not reduce the pain completely but due to the presence of natural analgesics, it causes a cooling sensation in the body which masks the aches and pain in the body temporarily.
These are some of the health benefits that are backed with proper scientific research, however, there are many benefits of Vicks which are typically based on personal anecdotes and do not have studies to support the evidence.
Some of the other potential health benefits of Vicks VapoRub are as follows:
- Treating fungal toenails.
- Helping in fading of scar marks.
- Healing rough skin on heels
- Training pets and repelling mosquitoes.
- Relieving headaches
- Potent against acne
Now comes the most important question of all, is it safe to use Vicks VapoRub for earache?
Earache is generally referred to pain in the middle and the inner ear which also interferes with the ability to hear and is caused due to accumulation of excessive fluid or because of a potential infection.
As you could already figure it out, Vicks VapoRub provides some potential remedies against cough and cold but as suggested by some bloggers and online sources, is it really safe to use Vicks for earache?
Truth to be told, there has been no studies or researches to support the uses of Vicks for earache. Putting a swab of Vicks on cotton wool and inserting it into your ears is a strict no-no. Sticking any kind of foreign object in the ear is not a good idea.
The cotton wool may shred inside the ear leaving fibres containing ointment residues in the ear which may cause a bigger problem in the future for you. They can accumulate bacteria and other fungal microorganisms which can cause infection and thus have the potentiality to damage your middle ear instead of curing it. The soothing effect of Vicks can reduce the perception of pain but completely curing the earache is not observed.
Ingredients present in VapoRub can cause irritation to the nasal passages and airways and also the inhalation of Vicks by children under two years of age can be toxic for their body.
Potential side effects of Vicks VapoRub
- Certain ingredients in VapoRub can cause terrible allergic reactions in the body. Always do a skin patch test to examine for any allergic symptoms.
- If a person has sensitive skin, then it is not advisable to use Vicks VapoRub as it may lead to skin rash, redness and irritation and in some extreme cases leading to a condition known as Contact Dermatitis.
- Do not apply the ointment on open cuts, scratches and sores.
- Restrict the application of VapoRub on children under two years of age and keep them out of reach of pets.
What are the cures for earache?
Vicks VapoRub may not provide an effective cure for an earache but if you are suffering for unbearable pain and uneasiness in your ears, it is always advisable to consult a doctor first for proper treatment and medications.
The other remedies that can be provided are
- Medications including a combination of antipyrine and benzocaine can effectively reduce swelling, pain and congestion in the ear. It can also soften the ear wax.
- Herbal ear drops containing an olive oil base is generally prescribed to affected individuals as it has been observed that it can ameliorate ear pain quite seamlessly.
- Over the counter, oral pain medications containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help in lessening the earache.
- Often Chiropractic care is also advisable for the patients.
Vick’s VapoRub has been a household medical staple since time immemorial but using Vicks for earache is not advisable until it is backed by proper scientific research. Upon encountering earache it is always advisable to avail proper medical treatments and medications and not depend on household remedies.