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9 Natural Remedies To Treat Ingrown Toenails


Natural Remedies To Treat Ingrown Toenails
Natural Remedies To Treat Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown nail is a common problem. It is more common in the toenails, but in rare cases, it can also affect the fingernails. When the wedge edge or one side of a fingernail pushes into the soft flesh of the nearby skin, it causes a lot of discomforts.

Treating an ingrown toenail at home is quite possible. Not taking care of it can cause consequences and increase pain. This is why it is important to know a few tips to treat your ingrown toenail properly at home.

What are Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenail (also called onychocryptosis) occurs when the wedge edge or one side of a fingernail pushes into the soft flesh of the nearby skin, causing a lot of discomforts due to inflammation on the injured skin area. If left untreated, the ingrown toenail can break down, causing inflammation or infection on the toe.

Causes Of Ingrown Toenails

The causes of ingrown toenails are diverse. There are a few causes that can explain this unpleasant phenomenon:

  • Improper cutting of the nail,
  • Due to poor nail maintenance and poor foot hygiene,
  • Result of uncomfortable shoes or those are too tight,
  • Direct trauma or injury to the nail,
  • Excessive sweating causes fungal infection of the foot,
  • Abnormally curved fingernails,

People with diabetes or other health conditions that cause poor blood flow to the feet have a higher risk of developing this type of painful problem. Sometimes this is just due to a deformity in the foot and toes, which cause the development of ingrown toenails.

Fortunately, there are several homemade tips for curing ingrown toenails.

Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenails

The sharp, thick nail begins to grow into the soft skin, notching it throughout its growth. Often there is a small red bead on the skin of the toe, and the pain is severe enough to indicate that the nail is ingrown. Over time, this soft area turns red, painful, and sometimes there can be an infection. Some symptoms include persistent pain, redness, and swelling. If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to infection.

Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Ingrown Toenails:

    1.     Hot Water

As soon as the first symptoms of an ingrown toenail appear (redness of the toe, swelling of the skin, or pain), it is important to soak your foot in a hot water, preferable with saline or an antiseptic solution, several times a day as this can help a lot in relieving the swelling and pain caused by this problem.

How to do:

  • Put lukewarm water in a basin or in your bath and add a little salt or antibacterial soap to it.
  • Then let your foot soak in it for about fifteen minutes.
  • Repeat this 3 to 4 times a day for relief.

Such a foot bath is important, as you can then clean your wound more easily.

    2.     Place Cotton Or Dental Floss

After soaking your feet in hot water, you can place a cotton ball as a wedge under your affected nail to help it grow above the skin. It will even ease the pain and speed up the healing process.

How to do:

  • Once the foot is removed from the bath, dry it well, and then gently clean under the ingrown toenail.
  • Gently lift the affected nail with a pair of blunt tweezers.
  • Place a piece of cotton wool soaked in antibiotic cream, available over the counter, under the nail. This solution allows the nail to be placed over the piece of cotton rather than in the skin of the toe. Flossing can also help you separate the nail from the skin.
  • Replace cotton every time you soak your feet to prevent infection.

This homemade remedy for ingrown toenails is very effective. However, this method should be done gently. Also, be aware that it can cause pain.

Note: At first, you may experience some pain, but it will subside quickly. Avoid pushing the cotton roll farther than the swollen skin allows.

    3.     Epsom Salt

Epsom salt, scientifically known as magnesium sulfate, is an excellent product for disinfecting and reducing inflammation in the inflamed area. The salt is effective for treating ingrown toenails as it accelerates the process of nail growth and therefore facilitates the extraction of the ingrown nail. Bathing with Epsom salts brings other benefits. It relaxes the legs and repairs the cuticles.

How to do:

  • Pour into a basin about 2 liters of water at a temperature bearable for your feet. Add ¼ cup or 62 g of Epsom salt to it. Stir the preparation until the salt dissolves completely.
  • Soak your feet in it for about 20 minutes, every day. Then wash them in soapy water to remove traces of salt and allow them to air dry before covering them with socks.
  • Repeat this remedy 3 or 4 times a week.
  • After a few sessions, the skin and the nail soften. So you can extract it without any problem. Use well-sanitized tweezers to carefully remove it.

Since this is a fairly meticulous treatment, it is best to seek the help of a professional groomer.

    4.     Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is also helpful for ingrown toenails. To avoid the formation of ingrown toenails, the use of apple vinegar is an infallible solution. Its antibacterial properties protect the sore part and reduce inflammation.  In addition, it prevents infection due to its slightly acidic nature.

How to do:

  • To do this, you will need two ingredients. : ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and a liter of water.
  • Heat the water to a bearable temperature and put the apple cider vinegar in it.
  • Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes and pat them dry.
  • Repeat the process every day, at least for a week.
  • Another option is to soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place it on the affected area.
  • Cover with a bandage a few hours, and then remove it.
5.     Hydrogen Peroxide

Being a powerful disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide is an effective product for softening and recovering the skin found all around the buried nail. After just one application, you will see the results. It calms the painful sensation and fights bacteria as well as the formation of fungi.

How to do:

  • Heat a liter of tap water in a saucepan.
  • Put half a cup of hydrogen peroxide in it.
  • Then, pour the whole into a basin and soak your feet in it for a quarter of an hour.
  • Dry your feet well.
  • Cover them with socks or bandage only the affected finger.
  • Repeat the action daily for a while.



6.     Nail Cutting

Ingrown toenails can be due to poor nail maintenance.  To avoid recurring ingrown toenails, it is important to trim your toenails correctly. During your ingrown toenail treatment at home, your problematic toenail will eventually grow back. Make sure you cut it the right way. Nails need to be cut regularly, preferably with rounded edges, to prevent them from entering the flesh as they grow. This is also the recommended way to avoid ingrown toenails.

How to do:

  • Always cut your fingernails straight and avoid curving them to match the shape of your toe.
  • When cutting, always start with the edges, not the middle part.
  • It is also important to file the nails to get rid of any sharp edges.
  • Always use a quality nail file.
  • Keep your nails at a moderate length. Cut too short, they can dig into the skin as they grow, ultimately causing an ingrown toenail.

However, do not cut your ingrown nail if there is still inflammation. If in doubt, consult a podiatrist.

    7.     Turmeric

You can also use turmeric to get rid of the discomforts of an ingrown toenail, like pain, swelling, and inflammation. The curcumin compound in turmeric has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic capacity.

How to do:

  • Make a paste of ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little mustard oil.
  • Spread the paste all over the affected foot and cover with a bandage.
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times a day for several days.
  • Alternatively, apply an antibiotic cream containing curcumin on the area and bandage the toe.
  • Reapply 2 or 3 times a day.
  • Furthermore, boil 1 teaspoon of turmeric in a glass of milk.
  • Drink it twice a day to reduce pain and speed up the healing process.

    8.     Tea Tree Oil

To relieve the pain associated with ingrown toenails, the organic essential oils of Tea Tree are very effective. The antiseptic nature of tea tree oil can help relieve pain and reduce the risk of infection from an ingrown toenail.

How to do:

  • Put 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil in 1 tablespoon of the carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Apply to the ingrown nail and cover with a bandage.
  • Do this three times a day until you are satisfied with the results.
  • Along with tea tree oil, oregano or lavender essential oil can also be used.

Note: If irritation occurs after applying essential oil, immediately stop using it and talk to your doctor.

    9.     Open shoes

As stated above, the ingrown toenail can also be the result of uncomfortable or too tight shoes. As your ingrown toenail heals at home, make sure your feet are not in narrow or closed shoes as much as possible. You can therefore wear sandals or comfortable shoes (they should not be hard or too tight). Throughout the treatment, you should wear open-toed sandals or comfortable, soft shoes.

Additional Tips For Ingrown Toenails

  • Do not wear socks and shoes at home. This will allow the ingrown nail to be exposed to fresh air to promote rapid healing.
  • Give the affected toe some rest to help heal.
  • Except when soaking, keep your feet dry as much as possible.
  • Take care of your feet properly and trim your toenails regularly to avoid such problems.
  • Maintain foot hygiene by washing your feet regularly and drying them thoroughly.
  • Always wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes.
  • Rub your feet with a pumice stone on a daily basis to prevent hard skin formation.
  • Wear only cotton socks and change them every day.

Seek Advice From A Podiatrist

Treating ingrown toenails at home sometimes requires professional follow-up and advice, depending on the severity of your situation.

Know that your situation should improve within 7-10 days. If not, you need to see a professional avoid having any complications. People with diabetes, those with neurological problems in the feet or in the blood circulation should also see a specialist doctor. For the latter, home care is strictly prohibited.

Certain categories of people must quickly consult a professional in cases of ingrown toenails:

  • Diabetics,
  • Immunosuppressed people,
  • Individuals who perform hemodialysis,
  • People who have poor blood circulation in the legs.

If you meet either of these criteria, under no circumstances should you attempt long-term treatments at home!

If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult a podiatrist. It will always be smarter to see a professional than to try to resolve a situation on your own that you are unsure of. 

Do not hesitate to consult a podiatrist to help you if necessary. He will be able to assess the seriousness of your situation and advise you accordingly. The podiatrist can, among other things, medically cut your nail, prescribe the right cream or, in some cases, perform non-painful ingrown toenail surgery.

See a doctor if the ingrown toenail appears in a child or if there are signs of infection. If there is ever a bead around the nail, an operation is necessary.

It is easy to take care of an ingrown toenail at home if caught early. However, if you notice any signs of the infection get it checked out by a doctor, it can spread and cause complications.


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