Last Modified on Feb 18, 2014
What Is an Ingrown Toenail?
A fairly common condition, an ingrown toenail occurs when the corner or side of one of the toenails grows into the soft flesh of that toe. Ingrown toenails are often painful; however, the condition is typically easy to treat. While an ingrown toenail may occur on any of the toes, ingrown nails usually affect the big toe.
The severity of symptoms associated with an ingrown toenail is often dependent upon the extent to which the nail is ingrown. Nonetheless, the common symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain and tenderness in or along the toe and redness around the toenail. If the condition persists, it can cause swelling of the toe around the nail as well as infection of the tissue surrounding the toenail.
An ingrown toenail results as the nail grows into the flesh of the toe, typically the big toe. Several things contribute to this abnormal growth, though. Wearing shoes that crowd the toes and toenails, cutting the toenails too short or not straight across, injuring the toenail or having unusually curved toenails may all cause or contribute to ingrown toenails.
Ingrown Toenail Cure
Treating an ingrown toenail at home is often the easiest and best method of treatment available. Many natural remedies treat and help prevent ingrown toenails. Baking soda moistened with spirits of camphor and packed beneath the ingrown nail is an easy and effective ingrown toenail cure. Additional ingrown toenail remedies include MMS, a “v” cut in the center tip of the nail, and vitamin E applied to the nail and nail bed. Magnetic polus australis is another possible homeopathic remedy. In addition to treating the actual ingrown nail, minced garlic applied to the toe helps reduce swelling and fight any infection that is present.
Baking Soda, Spirits of Camphor
12/05/2010: Brooke from Montgomery, Tx, Usa: "Baking Soda and Spirits of Camphor
Using a little baking soda and spirits of camphor usually works. Each evening put a little under the nail, - it will remove them and have no bad effects! Moisten baking soda with spirits of camphor. Put this in a very little bit of cotton and push under the edge of the nail each evening, with a toothpick or something similar. Leave a little bit out of the nail so that you can remove the cotton!"
12/16/2010: Anonymous from Usa replies: "Fascinating! Any idea why it works?"
01/04/2011: Brooke from Montgomery, Tx, Usa replies: "Not sure why it works, but it works! My grandmother had one on her big toe and I did this and it worked after about 1 week!"
07/23/2011: Rw from Tazewell, Va: "The homeopathic remedy magnetis polus australis 30c worked wonders for an ingrown toenail--on my dog. He "dislocated" his toenail when he jumped on a chair and it tipped over, and the toenail ended up digging into the nail bed. I googled "homeopathy ingrown toenail" and it came up with this remedy. It was a little hard to find- I found it on Amazon-am I allowed to say that?, and in a few days the nail was out of the bed and looked like it was ready to come off or break off on its own. We gave him 2 doses a day for 2 days, then one more dose, and avoided a veterenarian visit, and he's now a happy camper. I know this was a dog, but homeopathic remedies work very much the same for humans as for animals, so I'm hoping this will help a human."
10/18/2010: Tomstyn from Adelaide, Australia: "For people with an ingrown toe nail just let it grow out and once every 24 hours put on a drop of diluted and activated MMS it worked for me as well as this being the first year with no sore winter throat. Also MMS has now got too much momentum to be stopped by big money pharmas. It will be interesting to see see which western countrys will have the biggest uptake of MMS. It will have something to say about the institutions in the varios countrys, and the peoples intelligenge."Replies
12/18/2010: Brendan from Adelaide, South Australia replies: "Hey, ive just started reading about this mms stuff, sounds great so I want to give it a go. Where did you buy it in Adelaide, or did you get it off the net. Also does anyone have any idea if this is ok to take if you have immune system problems. I suffer from psoriasis/dermatitis and so I dont want to take anything that will make it worse. Thanks guys"
01/04/2013: Eva from San Jose,, Ca replies: "What is MMS and where can you buy it?"
EC: More info here: http://www.earthclinic.com/Supplements/MMS.html
[NAY] 03/03/2010: Susan from Calgary, Alberta, Canada: "My son (13 yrs old)has had ongoing in grown toe nails for at least the last 6mnths. He had never before been on antibiotics and is now on his 4th round. He is scheduled for surgery today. It will be on both big toes. I really dont want this done if we can try another means. We have soaked and wrapped the toes in sage (a native remedy) he has taken oregano oil drops orally. We have also soaked in epsum salts. Thanks"Replies
03/03/2010: Cpn from Panther Land, Usa replies: "I DO NOT know of any remedies for ingrown toe nails. But, I had some severe swelling in my two wisdom teeth in the back of my mouth. I had two removed some years ago, because of swelling and biting the back of my mouth when chewing. The dentist actually put me on antiboitics for a few weeks before he cut the teeth out, because of the swelling and possibly getting infection in it.
Same thing this time, same feeling and I was about to set the appointment, when I read on here about GARLIC being used for abcess teeth.
Well long story short, in 24 hours great improvement, 48 hours major improvement, 72 hours later almost gone. I continued the garlic for about 5 days total to be sure it was gone.
I still have my teeth and I have had no more flare ups. This happen right before Christmas.
The way I used the garlic was I just put a clove in my mouth and held it in the wisdom teeth and gums ( chewing every so often ) I would swallow the rest after a while of holding it on there.
I am NO DOCTOR, but GARLIC got rid of my swelling in my mouth, so maybe it will help with ingrown nail.
I would apply the garlic and get the juice on the nail and surrounding area and take severeal cloves chop up every 6 to 8 hours internally for at least 3 days preferably 5 to 7 days and see if he has improvement.
Garlic is hot (SPICY) and may burn somewhat.
Maybe someone else will have some ideals. If this works, please pass it on and let all of us here on Earth Clinic know."
03/04/2010: Lily from Brisbane, Australia replies: "The best cure that I know for ingrown toenails is to make sure that when you cut the nail you cut the centre lower than the outsides. Almost like a divet or valley. This makes the two outer edges higher and less likely to grow into the skin. It has worked for most people I know for years. When you get another ingrown nail then check the way you are cutting again."
03/04/2010: Jamie from Lake Worth, Fl. replies: "Chronic ingrown toenails are a condition, the nail not only grows toward the end of the toe, it also grows down on the sides. I have this condition and so does my son. I suffered all until I was about 35, my son only until he was about 9. Both of us had the surgery, the doctor puts acid on the root of the nail, only where no growth is wanted. This still gives you a toe nail that looks normal.
I am not trying to be rude, but it easy for those of you who do not suffer with this condition to say cut your nails properly. It does not matter, since the nail grows on the side and into the toe on the edges of the nail bed. It hurts, if you can imagine. Not all ingrown are due to this condition, some are because of improper manicuring.
For the mom who is concerned about her son having the surgery. Don't worry, its a snap, there were no complications with either surgery in our family. They numb the toe, separate the nail on the side from the bed. Snip the area on the sides down to the root, put acid on it, to kill the root in that area. Bandage it, you have to keep it dry for about 1 week. You are on your way. Your son will thank you with all of his heart."
03/04/2010: Abby from Anon, Usa replies: "I have the same problem. I can soak my toe for some relief, but the nail itself grows down into the side of my toe- no matter which way I cut it. I just hope it doesn't get too bad ever. Sometimes it's more painful than others."
03/06/2010: Gary from Wauchope, Nsw Australia replies: "Hi I use to suffer with this until I was shown to cut a small V shape in the front of the Toe Nail and this does work I've been doing it for years. Good Luck."
03/07/2010: Lynn from Wendell, Nc. replies: "I suffered with ingrown toenails most of my adolesant life. the only thing that ever helped me was to clip the nail straight across.(the v never made a differance for me) do not round the nail at all. i put liquid wart remover between the nail and the most painful part of the toe. this helps to develop a callus util the bur grows out or you can clip it. good luck i remember the pain."
03/08/2010: Tricia from Ireland replies: "The reason the V style cut works is because, in order to do this, the outsides of the nail must be left longer and once the nail has grown past the niche of skin where it can bite into the corner you're home and dry. Most of us have been taught to cut the nails straight across but what we aren't shown is to leave a little white at the tips. When the toes roll forward the skin is pushed up and if the nails are not long enough this can eventually cause the skin to swell ever so slightly and the nail has to grow somewhere."
07/01/2010: Jefferson from Lehi, Ut replies: "INGROWN TOENAIL: I have had ingrown toenails for many years. I have always treated it this way and it has always worked. All the remedies I have read about treated the infection and not the actual cause of the infection which is the toenail growing into your skin.When I feel a little pain or notice it growing wrong I get a little piece of a cotton ball and using any small pointed dull object, I push it underneath just the white part of the nail on the side of the toe. This should be done as soon as the pain is noticed and before it has any time to grow into the skin. You need to change the cotton every couple of days and push it more to the side of the nail each time so it lifts the nail and trains it to grow out ward instead of inward towards the skin.
BAM, problem fixed! It's so simple and no infection, no surgery, no cutting, no acid, nothing! A big bag of cotton balls are like a dollar and they last for years! I started doing this after having many infections and not knowing what to do. I haven't had any problems with them since."
07/03/2010: Jackie from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Ireland replies: "This tip is similar to Jefferson's from Lehi, Utah and basically works on the same principal. Try using a small piece of dental floss. Slide it or place it whatever way you can under the nail where the nail is gowing into the flesh. The floss lifts the nail slightly and allows the nail to grow properly. My daughter tried this and it worked. She had no need for any other treatment with regard to this problem. The floss did not fall out, but if it does come out at any stage just replace it with another piece."
07/05/2010: Jennifer from Podunk, Missouri replies: "This is very Similar to Jackies & Jeffersons. I've had an ingrown toenail on my right foot on my big toe. I was watching Dr. Oz one day and he was demostrating how to get rid of it of course had to try it. I got something to lift the nail up and stuck some cotton under the nail right there and put a band aid on to where it was pulling the skin back. In two days it was completely gone. (mine might have not been as bad as others though) That was about 4 months ago or so when I did that and haven't had it since. Plus not wearing tight shoes and keeping my nails cut the right way has helped (as Dr Oz said). Anyways here the link to the video to see it demonstrated http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/ingrown-nails"
12/10/2011: Teresa from Bethpage, Tn/usa replies: "I just took my son to the Dr. because of an ingrown toenail (infected) and he told me to put some cornmeal into a dishpan and cover it with hot water and stir. Once the water has cooled (or you can add a little cold) put your foot in it making sure there is enough cornmeal around the toe. He then said soak for 30 to 45 mins. for 10 days. The enzymes in the cornmeal apparently eat off the infection and he said a lot of times will improve enough that surgery will not be needed. I researched on google since then and I found it also to be a cure for foot/toenail fungus. My son has soaked for three days now and his toe is looking much better already."
[YEA] 12/14/2011: Jen from Bozeman, Mt, Us: "I recently had to use this remedy on one of my kids and thought I would share it. My grandma who is now 97 years old taught me it when I was little. You simply cut a v out of the center of the toe nail with small clippers. It takes an hour or two for the relief to start being felt and with in a day or two the pain will be gone. The v causes the nail to start growing towards the center and away from the sides."Replies
09/27/2012: Izzydstar from London, United Kingdom replies: "I have been trying to find a detailed description of how you actually cut the V but I can't find it anywhere - how do you cut it ? - do you cut a whole chunk out so you can see the skin underneath? how exactly do you cut becuase I have tried to guess and all I can do is just try and file a v shape as there is no grip - do you mean cut a v in the center of the actual nail or the tip of the nail where the white nail grows?? thanks, any help would be great - I have had 2 operations which have both gone wrong and I am in agony!"
02/17/2014: Man from Sojouring America replies: "I have an ingrown toenail and just noticed blood this morning. It has been bothering me a little bit but I don't feel much pain down there due to diabetic neuropathy and tingling toes. But this morning it really made itself known to me. I really did not know how bad my diabeties has gotten. This blood sugar issue has got to get under control.
So I sprayed it with hydrogen Peroxide several times this morning and then doused it with DMSO and then some cayenne extract. And Just learned about the "V-Cut" and I did a small one ( the nail is very short). So I am going to use the system of cleaning the wound with H2O2, and DMSO and Cayenne Extract with the V cut, and perhaps the floss technique to lift the nail. So that is what I am going to do to solve this problem for the toe. It looks like it will work."
02/17/2014: Mike62 from Denver replies: "Man: Fat over 5%/g coats nutrients with oil preventing them from getting into the cells. Eating cooked conventionally grown food folds the mitochondrial proteins so the insulin cannot attach to the receptor site. I take 600g raw carbs, 20g coconut oil for saturated fat, 15g unsaturated fat including 6g omega 3s, and 70g raw protein. This program unfolds mitochondrial proteins revealing the insulin receptor sites and does not coat the nutrients with oil so the insulin can carry the nutrients into the cell. I get my carbs from organic whole cane sugar and organic fruits."
[YEA] 03/25/2010: John from Phoenix, Arizona: "I had a bad ingrown toenail once when I was 14, I could hardly walk without pain, and it lasted about a month! I read somewhere that vitamin E oil would help if you cut the capsule open and applied it directly to the area of the infection.
I was a little sceptical, but by the next day, it had COMPLETELY HEALED!"
02/14/2012: Angel from England, London replies: "I lost my toenail by bumping into something hard but when it grow back it grow inwards. It was the most painful thing ever. So you see when you have it surgically removed, it don't always work for some. What I did, was put my feet in warm or hot salty water to soften the nails... Then I would take a very small piece of cotton wool and tuck it under the nail, the bit were it grows under just at the top bit of the nail, and live it there until whenever I do that again. I did this at first once a week. It hurt at first to do that but gave me instant relief. I don't do it as much any-more because the pain has gone and the nail doesn't cut in to my skin as much. I also wedge the nail out a bit. Hope that helps."