Can You Fight the Flu Through Your Feet?

Flu season is about to reach its typical peak at the end of January to the beginning of February, but in Columbus and across the country record high numbers of individuals have already been suffering from the virus. There are many remedies and medications that people utilize to improve their health when they have the flu or one of the major respiratory viruses that have also been prominent this year. One popular folk remedy this year has been the use of vapor rub applied to the feet to cure a cough. This is not the only foot related remedy that vapor rub has been rumored to be useful for. Vapor rub applied to the feet has also been believed to be a form of treatment for fungal toenails.

Vapor rub is typically applied to the chest and throat so that vapors may reach the passageways to the lungs where mucus buildup and swelling can be relieved. Vapor rubs are also indicated for application on areas of musculoskeletal soreness and aches, including the feet. However, there is no scientific data that supports the idea that vapor rub applied to the feet is useful in the treatment of coughs or toenail fungus. Vick’s VapoRub even states on their website that they do not recommend their product for the treatment of toenail fungus because it has not been tested for or approved by the FDA approved for that purpose.

Vapor rubs for the treatment of a cough applied according to the package can be useful for individuals with diabetes in need of a topical medication that will not elevate their blood glucose. However, applying vapor rub in the hopes of eradicating toenail fungus may even cause more harm than good. Toenail fungus is difficult to eradicate and typically develops in association with tinea pedis. Moisturizing creams and occlusive ointments, such as a vapor rub, can keep the fungus causing these infection trapped in the nails and skin. Pinpointe foot laser therapy provides one great option to eradicate unsightly thickened and discolored fungal toenails with even less effort than would be required by the application of an ineffective vapor rub!

Please visit for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.

Columbus Podiatry & Surgery in Gahanna. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.

By Dr. Animesh (Andy) Bhatia