6 Home Remedies for Alleviating Ingrown Toenails

· August 29, 2016

Ingrown toenails are painful and can become infected.  There are very effective home remedies to prevent infection while also alleviating one that has already appeared.

Ingrown nails are caused when a portion of the big toenail bends and becomes embedded in the soft tissue.

In medical terms, this is known as onychocryptosis, and it generally develops from microbial infection in the soft areas surrounding the nail.

Most of the times, it is painful and becomes red and inflamed.  As it advances, however, and is left uncontrolled, it can produce a yellow fluid, or pus, which means that there is a source of infection.

This could be caused by poor nail care, using inappropriate socks, or small lesions that were left unattended.

It could also be genetic in certain cases.  For example, if you 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 to soothe them in little time.

Below, we’d like to share with you 6 of the most effective remedies so that you can apply them when you notice the first sign of this problem.

1. Garlic


Garlic has antibiotic properties that can help control 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

  • Crush one clove of garlic in a mortar and pestle and apply the paste to your nail.
  • 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

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

3. Epsom salts

epsom salts

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


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

What to do

  • Heat the water to a temperature that is tolerable to your feet. Add the Epsom salts.
  • Soak your feet for 15 minutes. Then dry them and cover them with socks.

4. Hydrogen peroxide

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

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


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

What to do

  • Heat the water and mix it with the half cup of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes, then dry them.
  • Put some socks on, or use a bandage over the affected toe.
  • Repeat treatment every day for as long as necessary.

5. Apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another one of those effective remedies that prevent ingrown nails from becoming an even greater problem.

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

  • Add the apple cider vinegar to the liter of hot water, then soak your feet.
  • Soak for 20 minutes, then dry.
  • Repeat this process every day, for at least one week.

6. Vicks VapoRub

This classic menthol salve is an antiseptic product that 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.


  • 1 tsp. Vicks VapoRub
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bandage

What to do

  • Crush the clove of garlic and mix it with the salve to create a paste.
  • Rub on the ingrown nail and cover with a bandage.
  • Allow to sit overnight, then repeat the same process for 5 days.

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