18 Effective Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenail, medically known as onychocryptosis, is a condition where a nail edge grows into the skin of the toe.

Major causes of ingrown toenails include; improperly trimmed toenails, wearing poorly fitting shoes, trauma to the foot, repeated pressure on the foot, poor foot hygiene, and deformities of the foot or toe.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include; swelling around the toe, pain, and redness. Ingrown toenails could lead to infections if not properly treated.

Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, in order to prevent ingrown toenails;

  • Avoid picking or tearing the nails.
  • Ensure you trim toenails straight at the top. Do not round the nails or trim them too short.
  • Before trimming, soak the nails in water to soften them.
  • Use a clean and sharp nail trimmer.
  • Ensure you stay hydrated to keep the nails supple.

Below are home remedies and natural treatments for treating ingrown toenails;

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is readily available and can be effectively used to treat ingrown toenails. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties are great for reducing pain and swelling. Since it is acidic in nature, it greatly helps in reducing the chances of infection. Mix a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar to a tub of warm water and soak your foot in it for half an hour. Remove your foot and dry it completely. Repeat the process 2-3 times daily until the problem subsides.

2. Warm Water Soak

Soaking your foot in warm water will help in reducing redness, pain, and swelling in an incredible way. When done on a regular basis, warm water soak may help in eradicating the condition. Simply fill a small tub with warm water and soak the affected area for 20 minutes. Remove your feet and dry it out with the help of a towel. Repeat this method at least 3-4 times daily for a fast relief from ingrown toenails.

3. Cotton

Inserting cotton wedges under the affected nails may also prove to be beneficial. It would slowly separate the nails from the skin and make it grow away from it. Start by soaking your foot in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Wipe off the water with a towel. Then, roll some clean cotton and place it just under the nails by lifting it gently with the help of a pair of tweezers. You must replace the cotton with a new one after every foot soak.

4. Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is an excellent ingredient for treating ingrown toenails. It softens the skin and relieves associated pain and discomfort. Once the nail is loosened, you can easily draw it out. Take a tablespoon of Epsom salt and mix it with warm water filled in a small tub. Let your feet soak in it for 20 minutes. Completely dry out your feet and repeat, this remedy, 3-4 times weekly.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide acts as a disinfectant and eliminates the risk of infections caused by ingrown nails. It also reduces inflammation and pain from the area. Take 1/2 a cup of hydrogen peroxide and add it to a small foot tub filled with warm water. Soak your foot for 15-20 minutes. Remove and wipe the area with a clean towel to dry out completely. Do this remedy once every day until you start to see improvement.

6. White Flower Balm

White flower balm is used in traditional medicine for treating ingrown nails effectively. White flower balm is an aromatic blend of various essential oils such as lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, and peppermint oil. Apply white flower balm to your toenails with the help of cotton balls a few times in a day. Be careful while using it as it may be poisonous if ingested.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is widely known for its antiseptic properties. It would also help in reducing inflammation in an incredible way. Make a paste of turmeric powder with mustard oil. Spread it around the ingrown toenail and cover the area with a bandage. Do this 3 times every day for a few days.

8. Tea Tree Oil

The inflammation caused due to ingrown nails in the toe can be controlled with tea tree oil. Its antibacterial properties are highly effective in reducing infection as well as pain, redness, and swelling in the affected area. Take a little tea tree essential oil and dilute it with pure vegetable oil. Apply it generously on the affected area. Cover it with a bandage and reapply 2-3 times in a day.

9. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that may significantly reduce swelling and discomfort that comes with ingrown toenails. Simply add some witch hazel to water. Make sure the amount of water is less than that of witch hazel. Dip your toenail in it and let it stay for 25-30 minutes. Do this every day at bedtime.

10. Dental Floss Method

Placing a small piece of dental floss under the affected nail will help in lifting it and separate it from the skin. As you start seeing improvements, you may use more dental floss to create an adequate gap between your toenail and the adjoining skin. It is completely safe and has no side effects. Make sure you use an unflavored or unscented dental floss for this purpose.

11. Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano essential oil is effective in reducing pain associated with ingrown toenails. It is also a powerful antibacterial which is helpful in reducing the risk of infection. Mix some oregano essential oil and olive oil together and apply the mixture evenly on the affected area. Do this a few times in a day for several days. Do not use undiluted oregano essential oil as it may irritate the skin.

12. Trimming

Trimming your nails is another effective way to get rid of ingrown toenails. It will not only prevent the condition but also provide a faster relief from the discomfort. Soak your foot in warm water for a few minutes to soften the nail and the adjoining skin. Take a sharp trimmer and trim the nail. Avoid rounding the corners. Also, avoid trimming your nails too short.

13. Clove Oil

Clove oil is a great pain reliever and would help with ingrown nails. Clove oil has an anti-inflammatory action which prevents pain, swelling, and redness. Being an antibacterial agent, it helps in reducing infection and keeps your toe clean. Combine clove essential oil with a carrier oil and dab it on the affected toenail with the help of a cotton ball. Reapply a few times in a day to get rid of the condition.

14. Mentholated Ointment

Mentholated ointments, such as Vick’s VapoRub can help in soothing an irritated ingrown toenail. It will also help in reducing pain in an easy and affordable way. Simple scoop out some of it and spread it over the affected toenail.

15. Castile Soap

If you do not have time to soak your feet in warm water or other solution, castile soap is just for you. It is a great agent to reduce inflammation and promote healthy growth of the toenails. All you have to do is wash your feet with castile soap and water 2 times in a day for a few days.

16. Toe Protector

A toe protector may be helpful in reducing ingrown toenails, especially if you do not have time to follow the remedies. Toe Protector comes in various types but all are meant for providing a soft cushion. You may also get a medicated one to soften your ingrown toenails. Just slip in one of them and wear it while you work or relax.

17. V-Shaped Nails

Cutting your nails into a V shape is a cheap and easy way to prevent and cure ingrown nails in your toes. All you need is a nail clipper. Soften your nails by soaking it in warm water. Cut your nails into a V shape so that there is less pressure on the sides of your toe. This would help your toenails to grow naturally.

18. Get Correct Footwear

Choosing your footwear sensibly would help you prevent as well as get rid of ingrown toenails. Wrong size shoes are one of the main causes of ingrown toenails. You may wear open-toed footwear for a few weeks to allow the ingrown nail to heal. Avoid shoes that exerts too much pressure on your toes.