Are you suffering from redness around the toenail along with pain and tenderness? Do you have abscess formation in toenail with the discharge of yellowish pus? Then you have an ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenail (or Onychocryptosis) is caused when the side edge or corner of the toenail grows into the soft flesh of the nearby skin. This problem is commonly seen in toenails but in rare cases, fingernails also become ingrown.
It is caused due to the improper trimming of nails, nail injury, wearing tight shoes, poor blood circulation to the feet, diabetes, excessive sweating, fungal or bacterial infections, etc. Constant pain, swelling, and redness around the nail, watery discharge tinged with blood and drainage of pus etc. are some of the signs and symptoms of ingrown toenails.
There are many natural remedies for treating ingrown nails at home in the early stage but consult your doctor, if the condition turns to infection (or) If you’re suffering from certain health problems like poor blood circulation, diabetes, nerve damage in the leg or foot, any foot or nail fungus for proper diagnose and treatment.
Home Remedies to Deal with an Ingrown Toenail:
These are the best and effective natural home remedies used widely to treat ingrown toenail and its symptoms. Let’s get started.
Remedy – 1: (Foot Soak)
Soaking your ingrown nails in warm water for few times a day will help you to get relief from the pain, swelling, and tenderness caused by an ingrown nail and also enhances proper blood circulation to grow the nail properly.
For best results, you can add some natural ingredients in this warm water before soaking your nails. Few ways of soaking your ingrown toenail…
- Fill the foot tub with warm water and soak your feet in this water for 15 – 20 minutes. Repeat it 3 – 4 times daily to get rid of the problem.
- Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) softens the toenail, reduces the pain and prevents the nail from getting infected. Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt in warm water filled in foot tub. Soak your feet for 20 minutes and dry your feet properly. Repeat it 3 – 4 times a week.
- Hydrogen Peroxide acts as a disinfectant that reduces the pain and swelling along with minimizing the risk of getting an infection. Mix 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide in warm water filled in a small tub. Soak the affected toenail in it for 20 minutes. Repeat it once or twice daily.
- Indian lilac (neem) has pain suppressing and antimicrobial properties that reduce pain, clear infection and enhance the proper growth of a toenail. Boil 4 cups of water with a handful of neem leaves in it. Strain and let it cool down. Soak the affected nail in it for 10 minutes. Repeat twice daily.
- Essential oils speed up the healing process by clearing the infection and promoting proper blood circulation to the affected nails. Pour few drops of any essential oil in foot tub filled with warm water. Stir and soak your feet in it for 7 – 10 minutes. Dry it and repeat regularly.
Remedy – 2: (Cotton Wedge)
After soaking your feet in warm water, you can place a cotton wedge under the affected nail to get rid of pain, speed up the healing process and make it grow above the skin.
- Dry your feet (or nails) thoroughly after soaking in warm water.
- Then lift the affected nail carefully using a blunt pair of tweezers.
- Now place a piece of cotton (or dental floss) between your nail and the skin.
- Make sure to replace the cotton each time you soak your feet to get rid of an infection.
Remedy – 3: (Apple Cider Vinegar)
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) treats ingrown toenails with its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It lessens the pain and other symptoms along with preventing infection with its mild acidic nature.
- Dip a cotton ball in raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
- Dab it directly on the affected toenail and secure it with a bandage.
- Leave it for a couple of hours and remove it.
- Continue doing the same process 2 – 3 times daily until your toenail starts growing naturally.
- Or mix 1 tablespoon of ACV and 1 teaspoon of honey in 1 glass of lukewarm water. Stir well and drink it to strengthen your immunity, promote proper blood circulation and enhance the growth of the nail.
- Also, soak your feet in a foot tub filled with equal quantities of ACV and warm water for about 15 – 20 minutes. Dry your feet and repeat it daily till you get relief from the problem.
Click here to know about Apple Cider Vinegar for Toenail Fungus.
Remedy – 4: (Turmeric)
Turmeric has curcumin which exhibits antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce pain, inflammation and also make the nail to grow properly.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon each of organic turmeric powder and mustard oil to make a fine paste.
- Apply it on the affected toe and secure it with a band-aid.
- Leave it for few hours or overnight.
- Do the same for 2 – 3 times daily to get rid of the ingrown toenail.
- Or apply curcumin-containing antibiotic creams on the tender area and cover it with a bandage. Reapply 2 – 3 times daily.
- Also, boil 1 glass of milk by adding 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in it. Stir well and drink it once or twice daily to lessen the pain and infection.
- Or soak your feet in warm water infused with 3 tablespoons of turmeric powder for 10 – 15 minutes to clean the infected area and promote faster healing.
Remedy – 5: (Tea Tree Oil)
Tea tree oil has antimicrobial, pain relieving and antiseptic properties that relieve pain, reduce the risk of infection and promote proper growth of the affected toenail.
- Mix 2 – 3 drops of tea tree oil in 1 tablespoon of any carrier oil.
- Apply this oil mix on the ingrown toenail and secure the area with a bandage.
- Continue doing the same process 2 – 3 times daily till you get satisfied results.
Note: Or use lavender oil or peppermint oil or oregano essential oil along with tea tree oil to get rid of the problem.
Remedy – 6: (Homemade Ointment Recipe for Ingrown Toenail)
Essential oils help to relieve pain and prevent infection. Aloe vera soothes the skin and helps for proper circulation. Coconut oil moisturizes the skin around the toenail. Applying this ointment directly on the toe will promote faster healing.
- Mix 5 drops each of eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil, 1 drop of oregano oil, 2 drops of peppermint oil in 2 ounces each of aloe vera gel and organic coconut oil.
- Stir well and place it in a small glass jar which has a tight fitting lid.
- Cleanse and rinse your toe and dry it properly.
- Apply this ointment on the toenail affected area and let it sit for few minutes.
- If you want, can wear flip-flops (or) loosely wear a bandage (or) loose fitting shoes to secure the ointment applied areas.
- Continue doing it 2 – 3 times daily till you get complete relief from the problem.
Note: Make sure to rinse your hands after applying and also use any carrier oil in the place of coconut oil.
Remedies for Ingrown Fingernails:
Ingrown nails don’t just happen to your toes, your fingernails can also become ingrown at certain times but less frequently when compared to toenails. It exhibits certain symptoms like redness, swelling, pus discharge, discoloration, increased sensitivity, pain, etc.
You can use some effective remedies for ingrown fingernails like soaking them in water mixed Epsom salt or hydrogen peroxide or apple cider vinegar, applying tea tree oil around the border of the affected nails, etc.
Other than these remedies, you can follow the below mentioned natural home remedies for ingrown fingernails.
Lemon has acidic content that fight against the infection. Take a lemon wedge and place it over your ingrown nail. Then secure it with a bandage to hold the lemon slice in that place. Leave for few minutes to overnight to clear the infection along with preventing the nail from digging into the skin (or) simply apply lemon juice on the affected nail.
Castor oil helps to increase the circulation and thereby makes the skin around the nail to become soft and relieves your ingrown nail. Apply castor oil all over the affected nails regularly (or) simply mix baking soda and castor oil and apply this paste on the ingrown nail. Cover it with a bandaid and remove after few hours.
Lavender oil helps to reduce the pain, swelling, and inflammmation on the affected nail and makes the skin soft to bring out the ingrown finger nail. Apply some lavender oil around the affected nail area and leave it for few minutes to get rid of ingrown fingernail.
Applying baby oil or any natural oil around the ingrown fingernails will help to keep your skin soft and relieves your pain.
Soak your infected nail in warm water for few minutes and dry it gently to get rid of the infection and to soothe the affected area.
Tips and Precautions:
- Trim your nails properly (at a moderate length) and file the nails to prevent recurring ingrown toenails. Also, use a good quality nail clipper and file for your nail care.
- Prefer wearing sensible footwear (open toed shoes and sandals) will provide the nail to breathe and heal quickly.
- Also, use shoes made of soft fabrics that are properly fitted but not tight and also avoid wearing high heels to prevent the pressure on your toes.
- Avoid wearing socks or shoes in your home and allow it to get exposed to fresh air for faster healing. Also, wear the shoes which are properly fitted and comfortable one but not tight shoes.
- Keep your feet dry to reduce the pain, prevent the infection and promotes its growth naturally.
- Maintain proper foot hygiene by washing the feet, scrub it gently with a pumice stone to clear dead (or hard) skin and drying it thoroughly. Also, have some pedicures to get proper feet care.
- If you’re suffering from this ingrown toenail for a couple of weeks after using these natural remedies then you have to consult your doctor to avoid any complications.
- People with diabetes should check their feet daily to know whether they are suffering from any foot problems at any early stage.
- If you’re having diabetes or suffering from any feet or hand diseases or with poor circulation then consult your doctor immediately for proper treatment.
- Lift your nail to give the direction after soaking it well in water. Then use a cloth or cotton to separate the skin and ingrown nail.
- Always make sure to cover the ingrown nails with a bandage to prevent it from further infection.
- You can also apply some fresh lemon juice mixed with rose water, aloe vera gel or plain water on the affected toenail and rinse off thoroughly with water.
- Use a menthol based ointment like Vicks VapoRub directly on the ingrown toenail to get rid of the problem.
- Rinse your affected foot in warm water along with 1 squirt of antibacterial soap. Dry it and place a cotton piece under the ingrown toenail. Then apply antibacterial ointment to get rid of the problem.
- Always keep the fingernails well trimmed in straight but not curved and also keep them clean to prevent the infection.
Try these remedies and share your experience with us in the comments section.