The surroundings of your toenail become reddish and it is due to the pressure from the ingrowth of the nail. It is a common condition in athletes and ingrown toenails occur mostly on the large toes.

Ingrown toenails are considered as the most common and painful foot problem. An athlete will suffer from this problem due to various reasons. Because an athlete has to put excessive pressure on his toe while running and also improper cutting of your nails also may cause you this problem.

People see it as a small problem and it will be the most complicated problem if it gets severe. People who play soccer often experience this problem, as they need to strike the ball with an ingrown toenail and it will be painful sometimes. We would advise you to consult a podiatrist if you toenail gets infected. Your toe will be red and painful after its infected.

Not wearing proper shoes, and toe injuries often lead to ingrown toenails. You may not require to consult your physician for this problem. There are many home remedies that you can do to protect your foot from ingrown toenails.

Warm Foot Bath

To erase the discomfort of your toenail and in order to soften the toenail, soak your affected toe in a warm bath. This process is very painful for the people who are affected by this problem severely and this method will give you big relief from your ingrown toenails and you will feel much better after keeping your foot in very warm water for some time. This is the most common method and there are many techniques you can apply by following this method. If you add some Epsom salt, it will be helpful in reducing your pain and swelling. Salt contains magnesium and it will help the foot muscles relax.

You are ready to reduce your pain once you are equipped with everything. The things you need for this warm foot bath are

  • Container
  • Warm water
  • Epsom salt

If you want you can also add some of the following ingredients into the water such as

  • White vinegar
  • Iodine solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bleach

Once you have the above ingredients, you are ready to soak your foot and affected toe. You have to keep your foot in the warm water for fifteen to twenty minutes, and you may repeat the same process if it fails to reduce your swelling. It completely depends on the severity of your condition, there is no limit for this procedure as it is natural and no side effects associated with this procedure. Make yourself comfortable before doing this process and depending on the results, you can follow the same process again and again. If swelling is the main problem of your toe, then do a cold therapy for your foot after the warm bath.

Massage your affected area while it is soaking in the warm bath, and don’t apply massage frequently and it may lead to blood release from your toe. You don’t have to worry if you see your blood in the water, as you massage your foot in the warm water the blood release from your toe will reduce the pressure pain in your toe.

In order to massage the affected area, you have to use your thumb and forefinger. Don’t do Massage to your toe for a long time as it would result in irritating you. And, once you are finished with the warm water bath and foot massage, its time to dry your foot with a clean towel. You should consider this dry part of your toe is very vital in order to protect your toe from bacteria, fungus, and other potential pathogens.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar for relief

Treating your Ingrown toenails with the help of Apple cider vinegar is the best option to get rid of this problem. It is considered as a folk remedy and this ingredient has lots of abilities including

  • Pain-relieving abilities
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-inflammatory

If you want to try this method, you need the following materials such as

  • Container
  • Warm water
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

First, fill the basin with warm water and add apple cider vinegar and Soak your affected toe for up to fifteen minutes and repeat this process daily. Make sure that to dry your foot thoroughly after soaking. If you find this method helpful, then recommend it to others who are also suffering from the same problem as you.

Get relief from Antibiotic Ointment

If you think you can find relief from the above remedies, you can apply an antibiotic ointment for your toenail problem and it will reduce the swelling, lessen the chances of infection. You have to follow the guidelines of the manufacturer carefully while applying this antibiotic cream to your toenail and also don’t let your children and kids touch this.

There are many antibiotic creams that can reduce swelling, and keep you away from getting an infection. The following are the antibiotic ointments available in the health stores that you can apply yourself to your problem. These include

  • Bactroban
  • Neosporin
  • Polysporin

Don’t forget to bandage the toenail after each time you apply the cream for your problem. This cream will help you to fight with the infections and for some antibiotic creams, you may need to show the doctor’s prescription. Applying cream is not a permanent solution for the problem as it will relieve the pain temporarily. Make sure to read all the instructions on the antibiotic ointment package.

Dental Floss or Use Cotton on your affected area

After completing the above process like soaking your foot in the warm water, massaging your foot, and it’s time to place a clean dental floss under the edge of your nail. Be careful while lifting up the edge of your toenail as there are chances of you may hurt yourself while doing this process. Do this after every warm bath but make sure that you are using the clean length of floss every time you apply. It’s not an easy task for the individuals and it completely depends on the severeness of your ingrown toenail. If you can bear your pain for some time, then you will be able to place the dental floss under the edge of your nail.

If you think you can’t do this on your own, take your physician’s help if necessary. Because it will complicate your existing problem if you do it without having the knowledge. If you insert the dental floss too much into your toenail, it will further lead to infection and this time you need to consult a specialist. Don’t be late for taking treatment for your problem as too much delaying let your toe get worse.

Take a Medicine

If you are unable to find the relief, then ask your physician to prescribe you some pain reliever drugs in order to manage that pain for some time. There are many drugs that are available in the health stores that help you to relieve you from the pain you are suffering. The following are the drugs that you can take to reduce the severeness of your condition.

  • Naproxen
  • Ibuprofen

The above drugs are coming under the category of NSAID (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These drugs are known for relieving pain and inflammation.

Headaches, dizziness, leg swelling, high blood pressure, ringing in the ears, stomach pain, stomach ulcers, heartburn, throat swelling, wheezing, abdominal pain, and rashes are the common side effects associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You may not experience these side effects if you take the drugs as directed by your healthcare provider.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions related to liver or kidney problems, you need to have a word with your physician before opting for NSAIDs. These drugs are not recommendable to those people who are suffering from liver and problems.

For those of you who are not eligible to take NSAID’s, they can take acetaminophen for their toenail problem. Even people who can take NSAIDs also take this drug in order to lower the risk of experiencing side effects.

If you take Acetaminophen with alcohol, you will experience the severe side effects of this drug. We would advise you not to take this drug with alcohol. Yellow eyes or skin, tarry stools, fever, unusual bleeding, pain in the lower back, sudden decrease in the amount of urine, increased red spots on the skin, sores, ulcers, white spots on the lips or in the mouth, skin rash, hives, and sore throat are the common side effects associated with Acetaminophen drug. You are not at risk if you take the drug as directed by the physician.

Wearing Comfortable Footwear

Picking the right shoes and wearing them comfortably which will be suitable for your needs is an essential part of the prevention strategy. You are not supposed to wear anything that will put too much pressure on your toes, it should be like free to wear and remove. Wearing the tightening shoes will automatically increase the discomforts around the area of your toes, and that will lay the foundation for you to suffer from ingrown toenails.

Always remember to wear shoes that are not putting pressure on your toes and those tight-fitting shoes will increase the pressure around the toes and complicate your problem. You should give some space to air because air also can heal ingrown toenail. Don’t wear shoes all the time and remove your shoes to allow some air and give a chance to your ingrown toenail to breathe. The following are the instructions that will be helpful for you to fix your problem.

  • In order to allow plenty of airflows, always try to wear sandals and tennis shoes
  • Try to remove the cotton socks and remove them as soon as you get home
  • While buying new shoes for you, try to opt for tennis shoes, because they will not put any pressure on the toe
  • Don’t wear the shoes that are too tight for you, avoid it and thank yourself later.
  • Don’t wear shoes when you are at home, go barefoot.

Hydrogen Peroxide

H2O2 is a chemical compound with the name of Hydrogen Peroxide. It is considered as the best home remedy for treating an ingrown toenail. You need any prescription from your physician and it is available in all the health stress in your city. It will help you to disinfect and soften the skin around your ingrown nail and also helpful in reducing the pain. You can cut your nail with the help of hydrogen peroxide.

Grab a container and filled it with warm water and add hydrogen peroxide. Massage and soak your foot for twenty to thirty minutes and massage your foot occasionally and not frequently. We would advise you to follow this method once or twice a day and find relief from the problem. Sometimes, healing takes time and it completely depends on the severeness of the problem.

Applying Turmeric Powder

If you are feeling exhausted after trying all the drugs, and applying antibiotic ointments for the pain, then why don’t you give a try to reduce your problem with turmeric powder. People consider this method as a natural option and it is one of the effective methods in Home remedies for an ingrown toenail.

There are various ways you can use turmeric powder to lessen the pain, kill the bacteria around the nail, and in order to reduce inflammation. There are no side effects associated with turmeric powder and it is completely natural and anyone can try it.

If you are suffering from ingrown toenail problem, they you may need to try this method with turmeric powder. The following are the ingredients required to perform this action.

Once you are equipped with the above ingredients, you can start the process by mixing half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little mustard oil in order to make a paste. After preparing the paste, apply the paste all over the affected area and wrap loosely with a bandage.

We would advise you to do this remedy several times a day and wait for the best results. You will see the great results if you do the following method along with the above one. You need the following ingredients to perform this method.

  • Turmeric powder
  • Milk

Mix the teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk and boil it for few minutes. Drink it when it is ready and drink it two times a day in order to lessen your pain and speed up your recovery process.

Tea Tree Oil

Applying tea tree oil is another effective method for treating ingrown toenails. It will also first focus on reducing the impact of infections just like turmeric and able to reduce your pain. This oil is used for various purposes and considered a good natural remedy for pain relief from an ingrown toenail. For this procedure, you need two ingredients mainly.

Take a few drops of tea tree oil and mix it with the coconut oil, and when the mixture is ready to apply it on the affected area. Repeat the procedure twice in a day for the best results.

Cut your toenails

Nail trimming is one of the effective home remedies of ingrown toenails. But you have to be very careful while doing this process and ensure that the edge of the nail is past the skin. Don’t hesitate to take help from others if you can’t do this on your own. If you want to see the better results, then follow any of the above procedures along with this procedure, then it will speed up your recovery process and get relieved from the pain.

Indian Lilac

Indian lilac or neem contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and is one of the natural home remedies for an ingrown toenail. Indian lilac has the capability to reduce swelling, inflammation, and ache. Also, just like turmeric powder, it will reduce the risk of getting an infection.

Remedy One:

  • Grab four cups and fill it with water
  • Place the leaves in that container
  • Boil it and leave it to cool down
  • Place your foot in that solution and wait for ten to fifteen minutes and take out your foot
  • Repeat the same procedure daily

Remedy Two:

  • In order to reduce the pain and swelling, apply the neem oil directly to the affected area
  • Leave it all night
  • Repeat the same procedure every night

Have a Word with your Physician:

You need to consult your physician after trying every method. But some people use antibiotics in order to reduce the pain and swelling of their problem. But when you look at the previous studies it failed to improve the condition of the person. If you want to take any decision for your ingrown toenail problem, then you need to speak with your health care provider. Because taking suggestions from your family physician will help you a lot while making the decision for your problem.

Your physician will give you suggestions based on your medical history. As your physician is aware of all the medical conditions that you suffered and he will give you suggestions based on that. Using antibiotics without having knowledge about it may lead to severe side effects.

A foul odor, increased redness, warmth in the affected toe and its surrounding area, throbbing pain, pus, and increased swelling are some signs of infection.

Consider a Toe Protector

For ingrown toenails, a toe protector gives a shielding fence. As rings that fit all round the effected region or as a shield for the complete toe, the toe protectors are accessible in the market. To assist in soothing the toenails for simple pruning, certain brains of toe protectors, like Dr. Scholl’s. Till the ingrown toenail is reduce, follow the treatment as advised.

Braces for Toe

The braces for the toe are generally are built of thin, sticky, composite substance and are attached to the top of a person’s toe with the help of a glue. To assist in guarding the skin against a pointed ingrown nail and raise the edges of the nail as it develops. In medical stores and online e-commerce platforms, these braces for toenails can be purchased.

When you should seek medical attention

If you are a diabetic person suffering from an ingrown toenail, then we would advise you t have a word with your physician. Because people who are diabetic should seek the care of a physician even if the symptoms appear mild. It is not possible for them to treat this problem by practicing home remedies. If you are a diabetic patient and suffering from this problem, and you are experiencing the symptoms for the past seven days, then you need to consult your doctor immediately. There are many specialists who are specialized in treating ingrown toenails and the following are types of doctors who can treat your problem.

  • Family physicians
  • Urgent-care walk-in physicians
  • Pediatricians
  • Dermatologists
  • Podiatrists

Among all the specialists mentioned in the above, podiatrists can understand your condition better because they are specialized in foot and ankle problems. Other than podiatrists’ clinics, they lack the equipment that is necessary to do the ingrown toenail procedures. But, if you go to a podiatrist clinic, it is well equipped with all the instruments that are required to perform ingrown toenail procedures.


Most of the problems that come with ingrown toenails are not very complicated and you can treat your problem on your own by following the above home remedies. But consult your physician immediately if you think the home remedies don’t work for you. Your condition should improve within a week otherwise you need to switch to another home remedy. If You didn’t get your desired result even after following all the home remedies, we would advise you to have a word with the physician who specializes in foot and ankle problems.

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Last Update: May 7, 2020