How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail at Home Naturally & By Yourself


Do you want to know how to treat an ingrown toenail? This guide will help you treat ingrowing toenails at home naturally. If you do not want to consider surgery, especially for your child, find medication for ingrown toenails without surgery.

Here is how the story goes: A heavy object lands on your toe and as if the pain is not enough, the toenail proceeds to get ingrown leading to even more pain and sometimes infection. This article will highlight the various options available for treatment of ingrown toenails at home.


How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail at Home Yourself

If you are experiencing an ingrown toenail right now, high chances are that nobody would push you to listen to a talk on “how to treat an ingrown toenail at home yourself”, right? If that is so, here we go:

  • Get the afflicted toenail soaked up in warm, soapy water for between 10 and 20 minutes. This helps to make the skin fold around the toenail softer. Some people suggest using olive oil for this purpose; simply apply a few drops of olive oil all over the affected area.
  • Using a clean cotton bud, detach the toenail from the surrounding tissues gently. To do that, gently push the fold of skin downwards and outwards starting from the bottom of the toenail all the way to the tip.
  • Once through, place a wet piece of cotton wool (or dental floss) neatly below the toenail such that it keeps the tip of the nail elevated onto the skin rather than embedded into it and thus ensure that the toenail is growing in the right direction. The cotton wool needs to be changed frequently to prevent infection.
  • Repeat this process 2 to 3 times daily

For pain, you can consider taking OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen (which is sold as Advil or Motrin) and acetaminophen (commonly sold as Tylenol). Children aged under 16 years should however not take aspirin since it is has been indicated to trigger a rare condition called Reye’s syndrome which is often fatal.

With this simple treatment, it is realistic to expect the ingrown toenail to have fully healed in 3 days. But should that not appear to be the case 1 week down the line, you should talk to your doctor. This also holds true if symptoms of toenail infection such as pus discharge, increased redness and more intense and/or pulsating pain are observed.

You can relieve the pressure at home.

How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail on a Child

Children are as well not immune to ingrown toenails. Their feet grow rather quickly and if you don’t match them with appropriate shoe size, it is up to you guess what might be making your child cry and limp the next time you check.

If the unthinkable has however happened and your child has already developed an ingrown toenail, s/he might get relief with a soak in warm, soapy water as describes in the section above and over-the-counter painkillers. Remember however that aspirin is not recommended for kids aged below 16.

How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail Infection

An ingrown toenail can get infected if proper care is not taken. There are of course stubborn cases of ingrown toenails that will just get an infection no matter how stringent you are with personal hygiene and wound care.

Some of the symptoms that signal an infection are drainage of pus (yellow-green fluid), warmth, increasing and pulsating pain, and increasing swelling and redness. In some severe cases, you might as well get fever and chills.

If you are wondering how to treat an ingrown toenail, the correct way is to not treat itself. An infected toenail needs the attention of your doctor or any other qualified health professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The doctor may prescribe to you an antibiotic cream such as Neosporin or oral antibiotic medication such as Di/flucloxacillin, Cephalexin, Clindamycin and Acyclovir. As with any medication, make sure that you follow the guidelines provided to the letter. And oh yeah! Don’t forget to keep the medication away from your kids.

Your course of treatment may also include some relieving medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).

How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail Naturally

There are then the lovers of all things natural and these are the kind of people who will try any existing natural remedy for any given medical condition before moving on to other treatment options. If you are one of them, you may right now be wondering how to treat an ingrown toenail naturally.

Well, your best bet would be to give your toenail the warm, soapy water soak described above. This will not only help to relieve the pain and tenderness but also aid the ingrown toenail to grow out (remember the part of cotton wool or dental floss wedge) of the skin fold and heal naturally.

How to Treat an Ingrown Toenail without Surgery

The thought of needles, scissors and other such paraphernalia that we associate with surgery makes a better part of the population shudder and if you are like most people, you may want to know how to treat an ingrown toenail without surgery.

Well, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, an ingrown toenail soak should be your first course of action. This is in simple terms washing your toenail with warm soapy water as described in the first section of this article.

Depending on the nature of the ingrown toenail, this may be followed by topical application of an antibiotic cream such as Neosporin.

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends reserving the use of oral antibiotics to more serious cases of infection e.g. those accompanied by discharge of pus in the skin fold surrounding the toenail.

Some of the common oral antibiotics from which your doctor (or podiatrist) will likely choose based on his/her evaluation of your medical history are Di/flucloxacillin, Cephalexin, Clindamycin or Acyclovir.