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Ingrown Toenail Home Remedies

52 Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenail

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Apply Oragel or any topical tooth pain reliever to numb the pain of an ingrown toenail.


I'm a doctor but this has never been taught to me in medical school. I have problems with ingrown nails during skiing season. The technique described has been previously reported but it is worth repeating. It was taught to me by a former classmate who deals with this problem frequently.

If you are an early stage ingrown toenail, the key objective is to reduce lateral force extending your nail into the sides of your nailbeds so the nail will grow straight out again

To do this, take small sharp scissors (I use a swiss army knife scissor) and cut a 'V' into the middle of your nail. It doesn't have to be wide (maybe 1/8' but it does have to be as deep as you comfortably can without injuring the nail bed. Over time, side pressure will be relieved and the nail will grow straight.

A second option (which has not worked as well for me) is to taken a knife and back stroke a strip along the center of the nail to scrape the keratin off the nail and making it thinner. If you scrape it sufficiently, the nail will become thin and pliable and can bend and buckle to relieve the lateral stress of the ingrown toenail. You can use both the V and the scraping strip together to relieve the pain of the nail. In both cases, once the nail is freed from the ingrown site and growing again, it will completely regenerate in 2-3 months.

Most important is PREVENTION: when you clip your toes, clip them in a straight line so that the ends of your toe nails extend beyond the skin on the side of the nail. Most ingrown nails occur when you cut your nails very short and slides are cut in at an angle following your toe. In this case, the center of the nail is longer than the sides. As the nail grows, it will naturally grow laterally as well as forward and since you've tightly clipped your nails at the sides, the nail will grow into the skin. Good Luck!


Do the same thing as clip it but if you can't grip the nail with tweesers get a pair of clean oil free needlenose pliers to help get a super tight grip on the pull out nail.


Ive had my share of ingrown toenails and let me just say...IT SUCKS! I am a registered male nurse and have experienced ingrown toenails enough to come up with a less painful solution. Start by cleaning the nail with some alcohol or alcohol wipes. Next, take a pair of nail clippers and gently clip the area where the toe is growing into your skin and remove it. (YOU WILL EXPERIENCE PAIN, BUT HEY, NO PAIN NO GAIN). Next, apply some hydrogen peroxide followed by a little dab of betadine. Then, apply some neospoein or any other antibiotic ointment. There is another step to this remedy but it is optional; although i believe it is a neccessary step in this particular scenario. After applying the antibiotic ointment, take an amoxicicilin pill and remove one side of the capsule, exposing the powdery substance inside. Apply the amoxicilin powder on top of the ointment and around the inflamed area of the toe. Doing this keeps the wound dry and will the lessen the amount of moisture in and around the ingrown part of the toe. No moisture = no bacteria to enter the wound. Finish up by dressing the wound with a breathable, adhesive band-aid and change the dressing every moring and night. Recovery and comfort follows shortly after. Hope this helps!! :) P.S. If you tried this remedy, pls comment wether it be good or bad. I just wanna help as best i can.


Get a pair of cuticle trimmers and a pair of nail clippers.

Use cuticle trimmers that look like these....with the v shaped fork in them...

First disinfect the area with rubbing alcohol and also disinfect the cuticle trimmer and the toenail clippers. Now use the cuticle trimmer and place it on the corner of the toenail where the nail is ingrown. Run the cuticle trimmer straight down the side of the toenail going straight towards the bottom. It will hurt like heck. Keep running the cuticle trimmer all the way down the side of the toenail until you get to the skin at the bottom. Then use the toenail clippers to grab the toenail and pull the small side that has been cut until it pulls out at the bottom of the toenail. This will remove the entire side of the toenail that was ingrown and will solve your problem for many many long as it takes for the nail to grow back.

Be sure to disinfect the bleeding area where the toenail was and put on some neosporin and a band-aid for a few days. Keep the area clean and it will eventually heal and it will be a year or more before you have another problem...if at all.


There are two basic types of ingrown toenails: The kind that are caused by straight growth into the sides of the toe at the tip and the kind that are caused by the toenail curving along the top to pinch into the sides of the toe.

I, unfortunately, suffer from both kinds.

For the straight growth into the tip, one of the ingrown toenail clippers is usually sufficient. The trick is to get all the way into the side and clip the whole tip at the sides, getting that spur under the skin at the edge(s) of the toenail. Keeping the toenail tip trimmed straight across the toe flush with, or even overlapping, the skin a bit helps keep the ingrown part from happening again.

Depending on the lack of inflammation from the ingrown part, relief can be anywhere from instantaneous to a couple of days.

For the curved toenails that are pinching the toes (with or without the other kind) the idea is to soften the nail so it is more pliable. This can be done with moisturizing lotions, hair conditioners even some oils (applied after soaking the toenail in water for 15-20 minutes). This should be repeated at least daily.

If the toenail is unusually thick, the only option is to file it across the top. This thins out the toenail enough to make it more pliable and will relieve the pressure on the sides of the toe. Once the pliability of the toenail has been improved, if there is the straight out the tip problem as well, it is more easily remedied by having a pliable nail.

The filing process can be tedious, but the focus should be on the part that curves or even bends the most. If it's a smooth curve without obvious bends, then the whole nail should be thinned. If it's a nail that has bends downward at a sharper angle, filing along the top of the bend will yield quicker results. Take care not to go all the way through the nail. It will darken as you get closer to the nail bed.

It's still recommended to add moisturizing lotion or something else to give the nail more flexibility, which should help prevent the nail from doing the same thing again.

Cleaning up with peroxide (stings a lot less) will help prevent further infection/inflammation.


I have been plagued with ingrown toenails for the past few years. I tried to remove the ingrown part of the nail on my own, but I couldn't seem to get the nail clippers down far enough, as the ingrown part was very close to the bottom of my toenail. I went to the podiatrist and he said that there could be a number of causes of ingrown toenails, such as genetics, improper shoe size/fit, or not trimming the nail properly. Sometimes, none of these applies, and it still happens. I just happen to be one of those cases. Anyhow, the options are to try to take care of it yourself by the soak/trim method, or go to a podiatrist (that way you don't risk too much pain or the possibility of an infection). The podiatrist will either cut the nail with a special type of trimmers, and clip off the intruding edge, or there are other options as well. In my case, he injected an anesthetic into my toe in two places, and then cut a straight line down my toenail all the way to the bottom. It takes less than a day to recover, and your problem should be solved for at least a few months. He said it's also possible for a total nail removal, or to inject a chemical to stunt the future growth of nail in that particular area. I understand that this is a home remedy site, so most people probably wouldn't opt for that. Neither would I, personally. But it's definitely something to think about if this is a recurring problem.


I get ingrown toenails a couple times a year, not sure why as I try and trim my nails straight across. This rememdy usually works quickly for me, almost as fast as the pain comes on.

Soak your foot in warm water for 20 minutes. Try and very carefully trim the nail on the side to remove the piece causing the inflamation. I like to use a regular clippers that also has the extension file to remove all fuzz and dirt.

To help reduce the swelling, soak your foot in warm water and epsom salt. This step is key to a quick recovery.

Then, use a qtip and hydrogen peroxide to remove any bacteria.

Good luck!

D Stahl

Ingrown toenail -- had 'em often. Nowadays I try to cut away the granulation with a fresh sharp blade, single-edge razor for example, till I expose the 'hook' that's digging in. Could be the cuticle, or a crack in the nail itself.

Clipping the 'hook' just kicks the can down the road, in a lot of cases. I picked up a home acrylic nail kit at the drugstore, for about $5, and use it to rebuild that corner of the nail. Take some of the sticky-back foil, put on cardboard, that comes with the kit, and slide it back till it's past the 'hook.' Then just paint on the acrylic.

Usually it's durable enough to last till the 'hook' grows out. And it's instant relief.


I have had ingrown toenails for a very long time. My nails are very thick and brittle naturally, so attempting to fix it myself only made it worse since my nails are not pliable. I bought some lip moisturizing oil (made by aquafina) from walgreens for under 5 dollars and place it on my nails every night before bed. It has helped by making my nails thinner and softer, and I am easily able to use the pointed nail clippers to pull the ingrown nail up with minimal pain.

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