An ingrown toenail forms when the sides of the nail curl and grow into the skin, resulting in a red, swollen and painful area. The pain is increased with pressure, and a build-up of fluid may be seen in the surrounding region. As it progresses, you may see white or yellow pus coming from the skin where the nail is breaking through and causing problems. It’s advised that you seek medical assistance if your toenail is severely inflamed, has pus leaking from it, or is actively bleeding. However, there are some home remedies for ingrown toenail that may prove to be highly effective.
Try our home remedies for ingrown toenail and get rid of the pain!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
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Infection is one of the top concerns with an ingrown toenail, but you can minimize the risk by keeping this region clean with the right home remedies for ingrown toenail. Apple cider vinegar has natural anti-bacterial properties, and soaking your foot in it can help kill off bacteria and prevent other problems occurring later. You can also use it as a home remedy for swollen feet.
- Fill a foot wash pan with enough purified water to cover the damaged toe.
- Mix about a quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar with the purified water.
- Soak in it for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Dry your foot and optionally apply antibiotic cream.
2. Epsom Salt
Soaking your toes in Epsom salt is highly recommended to help ease inflammation and keep it clean. The salt soak has been used for generations, and it’s a harmless option that may deliver great results. You may want to consider making this one of your first treatment avenues when you first notice the pain and discomfort of an ingrown nail. Using this remedy will make it easier for you to trim the nail or administer other treatments aimed at correcting the underlying problem.
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- Choose a pan that’s deep enough to hold your entire foot.
- Fill it with enough warm water to completely cover the affected toe.
- Add about a cup of Epsom salt for every few inches of water.
- Soak your feet for 20 to 30 minutes to help soften the nail and surrounding skin.
3. Comfortable Footwear
Choosing the right shoes is an important part of your prevention strategy, and it’s a vital part when using any kind of home remedy for ingrown toenail for healing. High heels are known for increasing the pressure around the toes, and that will only cause the nail to dig in further. Remember that to protect this tender area and avoid a recurrence you should not wear any type of tight-fitting shoe that will exacerbate the problem. Air can promote healing, so you want to be sure that your ingrown toenail has plenty of chances to breathe.
- Wear tennis shoes and sandals for allowing plenty of airflow while alleviating pressure.
- Take care anytime you wear sandals. While they’re a great choice for airing out the injured toe, they can lead to bigger problems if you’re on uneven ground or in a busy city where the sidewalks are teeming with bacteria.
- Pair your fitted dress shoes with cotton socks and remove them as soon as you get home.
- Opt for comfortable tennis shoes when you can, they will not put any pressure on the toe.
- Avoid shoes that are tight across the toe because they can force the nail deeper into the skin.
- Go barefoot at home whenever possible.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
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Hydrogen peroxide is a very good home remedy for treating an ingrown toenail. It is a powerful and common disinfectant that you can purchase at any drugstore. You can use it to disinfect and soften the skin around your ingrown nail, as well as soothe the pain making the wound far less painful. Moreover, since this remedy helps with softening the skin you can easily trim the nail.
- Put half a cup of hydrogen peroxide in a foot bath filled with warm water.
- Soak in it for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Do this every night or even twice a day to find relief.
5. Dental Floss
The goal with ingrown toenails is to force them to start growing in the right direction, and dental floss can make this a little easier. This type of home remedies for ingrown toenail may seem strange at first, but you’ll grow accustomed to the feeling relatively quickly. Try doing this for several days in a row to accelerate healing. You can also use this method in conjunction with other ingrown toenail home remedies.
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- Thoroughly wash feet, allowing them to soak in warm water.
- Take a small piece of unflavored floss and insert it between the corner of your nail and the skin.
- Push it deep without causing yourself pain.
- Leave it in position until you wash your feet again to lift the nail and help stop the cycle.
- Repeat this process for several days in a row.
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If you’re tired of taking over-the-counter medicine for the pain, then consider going with a natural option that will also keep the site clean and prevent infection. Among the home remedies for ingrown toenail, turmeric use is becoming increasingly popular. There are a few different ways you can use this spice to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and kill bacteria around the nail. Turmeric powder is one of the best home remedies for tendinitis.
- Mix ½ -teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little mustard oil to make a paste.
- Smear the paste over the affected toe and wrap loosely with a bandage.
- Repeat this remedy several times a day as needed.
- Boil a teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of milk and take it internally.
- Drink it twice a day to reduce the pain and help accelerate healing.
7. Cotton Wedge
Use some cotton to lift the nail, then it may grow out naturally without the need for further intervention. It’s normal for you to experience some pain when you first start using this method, but it should be tolerable. Additionally, the pain will lessen quickly. Do not force the cotton beyond what your skin will allow. As the nail changes position, you’ll be able to use slightly larger wedges as it straightens out. You can expect the process to take roughly 10 to 12 days. Make sure to change the cotton wedge every day
- Soak the toe to soften the skin and nail.
- Pat the foot dry.
- Ball up a small piece of cotton. Put antibacterial cream on the cotton.
- Gently insert the cotton under the nail near the affected region. Use the pointed nail file or tweezers to get more of the cotton between the nail and the nail bed.
- Replace the cotton every time you wash your feet.
- Repeat the process roughly 10 to 12 days.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another holistic option that you might find very effective. Like turmeric, it may be able to relieve pain topically while reducing the risk of infection. Tea tree oil has many properties and is used for many ailments, you can also look at its use as a home remedy for boils. Using this natural remedy for pain relief from the ingrown toenail will help you avoid synthetic medications and give the skin a healthy environment in which to heal.
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- Put a few drops of tea tree oil in with another carrier oil, such as coconut oil.
- Gently massage the mixture onto the affected area.
- Loosely bandage the area.
9. Vick’s VapoRub
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- EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Avoid contact with eyes
Most ingrown toenail home remedies will work better if the nail is soft enough to be manipulated with the cotton technique or dental floss. If you don’t have time to soak your toe three times a day with Epsom salts, then pick up a jar of Vick’s. Vaporub soothes pain, keeps the area moisturized, and softens the nail for more effective results. This is also a good remedy for ear pain.
- Carefully wash the foot and dry it.
- Gently spread VapoRub over the inflammation.
- Proceed with other treatments for lifting the nail.
- Wrap with a gauze.
10. Nail Trimming
When cutting your toenails, you should ensure that the edge of the nail is past the skin on either side to prevent ingrown nails. However, you can also take special steps when trimming an ingrown nail to encourage healing. Combine this method with other home remedies for ingrown toenail so that you can see faster results and get your life back to normal.
- Cut a notch in the shape of the “v” anywhere along the top of the nail to help the nail edges move back towards the center as your foot heals.
- Use a file to thin out the middle of your nail along the outer edge to alleviate stress on the nail bed and help the nail move in the right direction.
11. Baking Soda and Spirits of Camphor
Some people prefer using a combination of baking soda and spirits of camphor oil over the traditional cotton ball. The process is very easy. This will help straighten the nail while providing you with some pain relief. Put some baking soda with spirits of camphor on a bit of cotton and push it under the nail. Just remember to leave a little bit out of the nail so that you can easily remove the cotton.
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- Moisten some cotton with baking soda and camphor spirits.
- Gently force it into position just below the affected nail with a toothpick or something similar.
- Wrap with a gauze.
- Repeat this remedy each evening until the nail grows properly.
12. Indian Lilac
Other natural home remedies for ingrown toenail include Indian lilac or neem. This plant has anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties, as well as helping with the swelling, ache, and inflammation. Moreover, it reduces the risk of getting an infection and encourages the healing process. Indian Lilac can also be used as a home remedy for dry socket when dealing with swelling and inflammation.
- Boil a few leaves of neem in 4 cups of water then strain.
- Allow it to cool down so that you can handle the liquid.
- Soak your foot in the warm solution for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat this daily.
- Apply neem oil directly to the affected area to reduce pain and swelling.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Repeat this remedy every night.
13. Soap Water
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Last on our home remedies for ingrown toenail is soapy water in which you should soak your affected foot in order to get the relief you need. By doing this you will help reduce swelling and easing the pain of your ingrown toenail. Make sure to keep the foot clean and dry and free of bacteria.
- Fill a pan that can fit your entire foot with warm water.
- Add castile soap and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
- Do this three to four times per day.
Protect your foot and find relief with these home remedies for ingrown toenail. Rather than struggling with the pain and hoping for the best, try some of these solutions to see if they can work for you. Switching different tactics can also lead to faster healing, so don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Above all else, be sure to keep the foot and any open areas clean throughout the healing process. Have you tried any of these remedies, which one worked for you?