How to Naturally Cure Ingrown Nails

ingrown toenail

Ingrown nails are annoying and painful inflammations that form on the skin around a nail when it becomes ingrown.  It could even cause an infection in the area.

In this article, we are going to explain what the symptoms are and possible causes.  We will also share a few natural home remedies to treat them, which are not complicated at all and are made with ingredients that are generally found in the kitchen: lemon, salt, thyme, onion, egg or carrot.

What are the symptoms?

We all know when we have an ingrown toenail because we can see how the area around the nail looks red and/or inflamed, and is generally painful to the touch.  It could also be infected at times, exposing pus in the area.

Possible causes

Ingrown toenails are caused by one, or several of the following things:

  • Excessive nail growth.
  • Abnormal nail growth.
  • Injury caused by the nil growing into the skin.
  • Inappropriate footwear that exert excessive pressure on the toes.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Traumas
  • Skin diseases

Thyme infusion

Thyme is a medicinal plant with multiple benefits, one of which includes helping to fight inflammation, infections, and calming pain.  That’s why it is a perfect remedy for treating ingrown nails.

Prepare an infusion with one cup of water and two tablespoons of thyme.  Boil for five minutes and, once the infusion is warm, submerge the affected toe for 5 to 10 minutes.  Repeat several times throughout the day.

Manicure in beauty salon soaking nails spa

Lemon and salt

Using these simple ingredients, you can prepare an effective treatment for ingrown nails.  Make a small hole in the lemon and add a bit of sea salt to it.  Stick the affected toe in it.  Leave it for 20 minutes, and do this daily until the ingrown nail is cured.

Both lemon and salt act as disinfectants and inflammation reducers.

Onion poultice

Onion is a great anti-inflammatory used to treat multiple diseases.  It can also be useful in this case, when applied very simply.

Cook one onion, and blend it once it is boiled.  Apply the onion to a sterile piece of gauze when still warm.  Apply the poultice to the affected toe.  You could even cover it with a bandage or surgical tape, so that it stays on for at least two hours.

Carrot poultice

All of these remedies are very effective, but you can choose one or the other according to the ingredients you have available in your kitchen.  Or you could alternate them to see which one is more practical or useful.

This poultice, for example, is similar to the onion one, but is prepared with carrots instead.  This not only helps eliminate the ingrown toenail, but it also revitalizes affected skin.

Apply this poultice three times a day, for at least 15 minutes.

Egg white

This remedy is super quick and also provides good results if repeated continuously until you see improvement.  All you need to do is beat one egg white and apply it to the affected area several times a day.  You can preserve the eggs white in the fridge for 3 days.

Can they be prevented?

You can prevent ingrown nails by following this advice:

  • Always keep your nails cut and uniformly trimmed, keeping in mind the cuticles as well.  Always use a file so that no rough edges are left.
  • Avoid wearing socks that are too tight, and rather, choose ones that respect the natural shape of your foot.  Make sure  they are breathable.  Preferably, you should avoid high heel shoes.
  • If you have suffered some sort of blow or if someone stepped on your foot, treat them with natural remedies even though it doesn’t seem very severe.
  • Moisturize your hands and feet regularly, using moisturizing creams that contain vitamin E or plant oils.
  • If you have had fungus on the affected area, apply a drop of pure tea tree oil daily, which is a powerful fungicide.


Recommendation: if your toenail is infected and the infection doesn’t go away, continues in the same condition, or get’s bigger, see your doctor as soon as possible to prevent further complications.  This isn’t very common, but it could happen if you don’t care for it, like a nail falls off, an abscess forms, the infection spreads, or more.

Photos courtesy of FoundryParkInn