Monday, May 16, 2016

Vicks VapoRub™ and Onychomycosis: New Study

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Nurses in Aids Care, nail fungal infection with yeasts and molds (Onychomycosis) which commonly occur in people coping with impaired immune response can respond positively to local applications of Vicks VapoRub and with no side effects. Vicks VapoRub™ (The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, OH) is a medicinal ointment commercially used for the relief of cold symptoms and muscle aches when rubbed over the chest or affected area. It contains three active ingredients (camphor, eucalyptus oil, menthol), and can be purchased over the counter for as little as $3.00.

The prevalence of onychomycosis ranges from 3% to 8% in the general population but is four times more frequently in persons with HIV-related immune compromise. Complications such as an increased risk of cellulitis is common and this can lead to serious life threatening complications.

Although many antifungal therapies are available and can be administered topically or orally, most however, are associated with high rates of treatment failure and relapse. Insurance companies are increasingly reluctant to cover the cost of treatment unless mycological evidence of infection is confirmed. High treatment costs and lack of health insurance can prohibit treatment of this condition in people living with HIV infection (PLWH), who are often socioeconomically disadvantaged. According to the results of this small study Vicks VapoRub, which is commonly used as an alternative to traditional antifungal therapies in persons who are unable to afford usual medical treatments, is both effective in the treatment of onychomycosis, and has no lasting side effects.

Snell M., Klebert M., Önen N. F., Hubert S., (2016) A Novel Treatment for Onychomycosis in People Living With HIV Infection: Vicks VapoRub™ is Effective and Safe Journal of nurses in Aids Care Volume 27, Issue 1, Pages 109–113.

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