Is camphor safe to use?
Camphor is a chemical used in a
variety of medicines and household products around the world. There are natural
forms of camphor derived from different plants and trees and synthetic forms
derived from oil of turpentine. It is
commonly used in creams, for its cooling sensation, and to provide relief for pain,
cough, itching, cold sores, or sore muscles. It can also be found in products
such as essential oils, mothballs, and even some pest control products.
Always follow the
directions on the label when using products containing camphor. Camphor
containing creams that are not FDA approved, over the counter products should
not be applied to the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially in young children. Ask
your doctor before using these products on babies or young children.
When applying creams to
the skin, do not cover with bandages or excess clothing. If the cream is
covered, it can cause the skin to absorb more of the product, which may cause
unwanted side effects. If the product causes skin irritation or burning, remove
the product and rinse the area well with water.
Child-resistant containers will
not prevent all children from opening the product. Store these products up,
away, and out of sight. Do not keep these products on tables or countertops,
even if they are being used frequently. Always keep products in their original
If swallowed, camphor can
Nausea and vomiting
Lower blood pressure
Call your local poison center at
1-800-222-1222 if you experience these or any other symptom after use. Never make
a person throw-up! If the person is not breathing, is unconscious, or having
seizures, call 911.