Ingrown Toenail Relief – How to Relieve Ingrown Toenail Pain at Home


Ingrown toenail relief can be done at home with simple remedies such as soaking. Below, you will learn how to relieve toenail pain using antibiotics as well as other methods you did not know about.

You stubbed your toe on the ground and now you have a painful, inflamed ingrown toenail. Well, don’t fret. This article will share with you the various options that you can turn for that much needed relief from ingrown toenail at the comfort of your home. We’ll also highlight how you can tell if it is time to seek the attention of your doctor.


Ingrown Toenail Pain Relief

If you have a painful ingrown toenail and are wondering how you can get some pain relief, then you might want to consider the following treatment plan that is simple yet very effective. This ingrown toenail pain relief plan will not only help to relieve you of the pain, but will also aid the nail to grow out and heal naturally:

  1. Soak the affected foot (or just the toe) in warm, soapy water for 10-15 minutes to soften the fold of skin surrounding the toenail. You may also consider applying some olive oil at this point
  2. Now push the surrounding tissue gently downwards and away from the toenail using a clean cotton bud. Start at the base of the nail, moving all the way up to the tip of the nail on the affected side
  3. Next wedge a tiny piece of wet cotton wool beneath the toenail such that the corners are raised above the skin. This will help to direct the toenail away from the surrounding soft tissue as it grows. Change the cotton wool everyday to keep the area clean and prevent infection.
  4. Repeat this process 2-3 times everyday until the ingrown toenail has healed.
  5. You might as well want to take over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and paracetamol to relieve the pain. Remember however that children under the age of 6 years should not be given aspirin as it can lead to Reye’s syndrome which is a serious, but rare medical condition.

With these steps, ingrown toenails will clear in as low as 3 days. If this however doesn’t seem to be the case a week or so down the line, consult with your doctor. The same case applies to an infected ingrown toenail which is characterized by more intense pain, increased redness and inflammation, and discharge of pus in addition to feeling warm.

And if you are diabetic, you should see a doctor as son as the first symptoms of ingrown toenail appear.

In addition to these measures, you will want to wear open shoes or sandals whenever possible till the ingrown toenail has healed and stick to well-fitting shoes with enough toe space thereafter.

It is also critical to cut the toenail the right way, that is, straight across to the length of the toe (not shorter than that) and without rounding off the edge to match the shape of the toe as we are accustomed to.

Ingrown Toenail Relief at Home

The other day, someone asked us to suggest a remedy that can offer ingrown toenail relief at home.

Well, soaking an ingrown toenail in warm, soapy water 2 to 3 times daily and following it up with a nice cotton wool or dental floss wedge between the affected toenail and its underlying skin is enough to offer relief at home.

It is realistic to expect significant improvement in just 3 days. [Refer to the “ingrown toenail pain relief” section above for step by step instruction].

In addition to soaking your toe (or foot for that matter) in warm soapy water, you can as well take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (available in pharmacies – or should I call them drugstores? 🙂 – under brand names such as Advil and Motrin, or acetaminophen which is sold as Tylenol).

And don’t forget to protect your precious piggy from pressure whenever possible and that means wearing open shoes or sandal while at home and removing your shoes every time you can.

How to Relieve an Ingrown Toenail – the Role of Antibiotics

If you have been searching around how to relieve an ingrown toenail, then you might have come across a mention of topical and oral antibiotics.

Antibiotics are used to treat certain cases of ingrown toenail especially those that have showed signs of an infection. According to the American Academy of Family Physician, topical antibiotics creams and ointments should be the first line of action.

They form part of conservative therapy which should be able to offer relief to patients with a “…mild to moderate ingrown toenail who do not have significant pain, substantial erythema, or purulent drainage from the lateral nail edge”.

Ingrown Toenail Relief Soak

An easy yet often effective conservative therapy treatment advanced by the American Academy of Family Physician is to wash your toe and foot with warm, soapy water as described in a previous section of this article before applying a topical antibiotic cream or ointment several times each day.

Neosporin is perhaps the most popular and widely used topical antibiotic cream.

Although most doctors and podiatrists are hesitant to use oral antibiotics, they are as well often used for relief of ingrown toenail. Depending on your medical history, your doctor (or podiatrist) can prescribe a round of oral antibiotics from among Di/flucloxacillin, Cephalexin, Clindamycin and Acyclovir.

Ingrown Toenail Relief Soak

You have likely come across phrases such as “ingrown toenail relief soak” and “soaks for ingrown toenails”. In the basic sense, these terms simply refer to the practice of soaking ingrown toenails in warm, soapy water. We have already explained how to go about this procedure in a previous section of this article.

There you go! Those are some of the ways in which you can relieve that painful ingrown toenail. Now go ahead and starting treating that annoying toenail right away and you will soon be back to doing all the things you enjoy doing.