Also known as onychocryptosis, an ingrown toenail is a common problem. It happens when the pressure of the growing nail edge starts to dig into the skin of the toe. This may feel a little uncomfortable at first, but if it’s not treated, the condition gets serious and the pain worsens.

It eventually may lead to infection, which you may notice by the redness and swelling around the nail, watery discharge accompanied with blood and drainage of pus.

The main causes leading to an ingrown toenail are:

  • Shoes that don’t fit properly (too large or too small)
  • Playing sports that include a lot of starts and stops, like soccer and tennis
  • Improper trimming of the nails
  • Poor hygiene of the feet
  • Constant pressure on the feet
  • Unusually long toes or curved toenails

The environment made when the nail pierces the skin is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. It is very important this condition to be treated in order to maintain healthy toenails and feet.

Luckily for you, if it’s caught in the early stage, an ingrown toenail can be successfully treated at home. But if the condition has progressed, it’d be the best to consult a physician. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

Thanks to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, everyone should have this natural remedy in their home. It may be used to treat multiple conditions, not just ingrown toenail. There are two ways to treat the nail with apple cider vinegar.

Try adding a quarter cup of unfiltered apple cider vinegar to warm water and place your foot with the affected toenail in the solution for about half an hour. After you pull the foot out of the water, dry it carefully. Repeat this procedure two to three times each day until it’s healed completely.

Another way is by soaking a cotton ball in unfiltered apple vinegar. The ball should be placed onto the ingrown toenail and then covered up using a bandage. Wait for two or three hours before removing it.

Epsom Salt

Combined with hot water, the Epsom salt softens the skin around the affected toenail which would make it easier to pull it out. It will also help to reduce the inflammation. Just sip a tablespoon of Epsom salt in a foot tub filled with hot water and soak your foot in the solution for 20 to 30 minutes. This should be performed three to four times a week until the nail is healed.

Hydrogen Peroxide

The most common household asset used for disinfection. Same as the Epsom salt, it’ll disinfect the nail, relieve the pain and soften the skin to provide the nail to be trimmed more easily. Soak your foot in a foot tub with warm water combined with half a cup of hydrogen peroxide, for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat this twice a day until it’s healed. 

White Flower Oil

This oil is a combination of different essential oils, like eucalyptus oil, peppermint, and lavender. It represents a traditional healing oil for many different conditions. To use this remedy, soak a cotton ball in it and gently rub around the affected area.

This will reduce the infection if there is one, or prevent it from developing. The white flower oil is considered poisonous, so you must never ingest it.


It doesn’t matter which method you use, the cotton is the most usual assistant when curing an ingrown toenail at home. Take a little cotton ball soaked in some antiseptic cleaner (apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or else) and place it between the toenail and the skin.

It’ll clean the area while also keep the nail and the skin separated. Replace the ball with a new one at least two times per day.

Prevention is better than curing, so be careful what type of shoes you wear and how you trim your nails. But if an ingrown toenail still happens to you, use these great remedies to cure it. Remember, if any of these remedies don’t work for you, no matter what the reason is, schedule a doctor appointment as soon as you can.