How to Get Rid of an Ingrown Toenail

According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, an ingrown toenail exists when a toenail is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders. This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling and warmth in the toe. This can be a very painful condition and is one that can be treated at home, but may require a physician's help if it becomes infected.

Step 1

Pour 2 cups of Epsom salt into a bowl filled with 32 oz. of room-temperature water. Place the bowl on the floor in a spot that will be comfortable for you to rest your foot in it.

Step 2

Place your foot into the bowl and allow it to soak in the water for 20 to 30 minutes in order to kill any bacteria in the toe and keep the area clean. Remove your foot, and wipe it off with a clean towel.

Step 3

Pour hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball and gently clean your toe, mainly the infected area. Wipe away any dirt in order to keep the toe clean and prevent infection. Use two to three separate cotton balls so you do not put dirt back into the toenail area.

Step 4

Repeat this process two to three times a day and always keep the injured area clean. Allow the ingrown toenail to continue growing until it eventually grows out of the toe and falls off. If this does not happen, see a podiatrist, who can easily remove the spike of the nail that has penetrated the skin, according to ePodiatry.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 cups of Epsom salt

  • 32 oz. of water in a bowl

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Cotton balls


Wear open-toe shoes or sandals, if possible, while you have the ingrown toenail. The less pressure you place on the toe, the less pain you will feel and the easier it will be to heal. Shower every day and change your socks once a day in order to keep the area clean.


If the toenail is deeply embedded in the skin, infection may set in no matter how well you clean it. If you have continued redness and pain, see a podiatrist immediately to have it removed.

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