Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenails: 6 Effective Options

· January 15, 2019
Ingrown toenails are painful and can become infected. However, there are very effective home remedies for ingrown toenails to prevent infection while also alleviating one that has already appeared.

Ingrown toenails are caused when a portion of the nail of the big toe bends and becomes embedded in the soft tissueFortunately, there are home remedies for ingrown toenails not only to alleviate the pain but also to prevent the development of an infection or to treat an existing one.

Most of the times, ingrown toenails, known in medical terms as onychocryptosis, cause pain, redness and swelling. Moreover, as they advance and are left uncontrolled, they can produce a yellow fluid, or pus, which means that there is a source of infection.

This problem could be caused by poor nail care, using inappropriate socks, or small lesions that were left unattended. On the other hand, it could also be genetic in certain cases. For example, you may have a family history of deformed nails.

The good news is that thanks to the properties of certain ingredients, you can use different home remedies for ingrown toenails that will soothe them in little time. Below, we’d like to share with you 6 of the most effective home remedies for ingrown toenails so that you can apply them when you notice the first sign of this problem.

Home Remedies for Ingrown Toenails

1. Garlic

garlic for ingrown toenails

Garlic has antibiotic properties that can help control the infection caused by ingrown nails.

Its sulfuric compounds reduce inflammation and accelerate healing in affected areas.


  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 adhesive bandage

What to Do

  • First, crush one clove of garlic in a mortar and pestle and apply the paste to your nail.
  • Then cover with the adhesive bandage and allow to act overnight.
  • Repeat treatment every day until you experience complete relief.

2. Onion Juice

Natural onion juice has properties similar to those of garlic. It, too, controls bacterial and fungal growth.

Its calming and anti-inflammatory properties control redness in the damaged area, and in a matter of days, it helps it return to its normal state.


  • 1/2 onion
  • 5 drops of lemon juice
  • 1 cotton ball

What to Do

  • First, blend the onion with the drops of lemon juice. Make sure to extract all the juice.
  • Then strain it with a cloth and apply the liquid using a cotton ball.
  • Apply twice a day, every day.

We recommend reading: Four Benefits of Sleeping with Onions on Your Feet

3. Epsom Salts

Epsom salts for ingrown toenails

Epsom salt baths not only relax tired legs but also repair cuticles. Besides, they prevent nails from becoming ingrown.


  • 1/4 c. Efpsom salts (62 grams)
  • 2 liters water

What to Do

  • First, heat the water to a temperature that is tolerable to your feet. Add the Epsom salts next.
  • Then soak your feet for 15 minutes. Finally, dry them and cover them with socks.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Because it is a powerful disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide is one of the best home remedies for ingrown toenails for softening and rejuvenating skin around the affected nail.

Applying it will calm the pain and also prevent bacteria and fungus from developing an infection.


  • 1/2 c. hydrogen peroxide (125 mL)
  • 1 liter water

What to Do

  • First, heat the water and mix it with the half cup of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Then soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes. Dry them next.
  • Afterward, put some socks on. You may instead use a bandage over the affected toe.
  • Repeat treatment every day for as long as necessary.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar, another one of the effective home remedies for ingrown toenails

Apple cider vinegar is another one of those effective home remedies for ingrown toenails that prevent them from becoming an even greater problem. Basically, its antibacterial properties protect the infected area and reduce inflammation, which causes sensitivity.


  • 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar (62 mL)
  • 1 liter water

What to Do

  • First, add the apple cider vinegar to the liter of hot water.
  • Then soak your feet for 20 minutes. Dry next.
  • Repeat this process every day, for at least one week.

See also: Treat Varicose Veins with Aloe Vera, Carrot and Apple Cider Vinegar

6. Vicks VapoRub

This classic menthol salve is an antiseptic product. In addition, it calms irritation and pain from affected toenails.

You can apply it by itself to reduce pain, but it can also be combined with a bit of garlic for more potent and quicker results.


What to Do

  • First, crush the clove of garlic and mix it with the salve to create a paste.
  • Then rub on the ingrown nail. Cover with a bandage next.
  • Afterward, allow to sit overnight.
  • Repeat the process for 5 days.

Remember that for best results with these home remedies for ingrown toenails, you need to cut and file them into a soft square. If the infection continues, then see your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Joshi, V. K., & Sharma, S. (2009). Cider vinegar: Microbiology, technology and quality. In Vinegars of the World. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-88-470-0866-3_12
  • Tattelman, E. (2005). Health effects of garlic. American Family Physician. https://doi.org/10.1080/01449290310001624338