24 Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails Infection & Fungus

If you or your family member has ever had ingrown toenails, then you may know how painful it can be. Not only that, it is rather annoying as you use your toes in your daily movement, and this use as well as constant knocking seems to worsen the nails more.

An ingrown toenail, also known as onychocryptosis in medical terms, might happen at any age and is considered the most commonly toenail issues. It could be a painful condition which could become infected once not appropriately cared for. Now, you may want to know how to get rid of an ingrown toenail, right? Sure, that is the reason why you are reading this article. But, first of all, you need to understand what an ingrown toenail is, what causes it, what its symptoms are, and other basic information about this condition. This article on TrueRemedies.com will answer all of such questions before giving you the best home remedies for ingrown toenails infection and fungus. Check out below!

What Is An Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is resulted from the pressure from the toenail edge’s ingrowth into the toe skin. Ingrown toenails are divided into 3 main categories: stage 1- mild, stage 2-moderate, state 3- severe. The mild cases of ingrown toenails are featured by nail-fold swelling, erythema, pain and edema with the pressure. The moderate cases are accompanied with enhanced swelling, infection, drainage, and ulceration of the fold of the nail. Severe cases of this condition exhibit chronic inflammation as well as granulation, and marked nail-fold hypertrophy.

When the edge of the toenail breaks into the skin, it will produce inflammation. This condition often affects the toenail, especially the big toe. Those people with thick or curved nails seems to be likely to have this condition, despite anyone could suffer from this condition as a consequence of an injury, improper grooming of feet, and poorly fitting shoes. Besides, people with vascular problems, diabetes, or numbness in the toes have to be aggressive in both treating and preventing an ingrown toenail as they could lead to some serious complications, such as losing a limb.

Also, an improperly trimmed or damaged nail could become ingrown, which burrows into the toe skin at the nail side. The affected area could turn into infected and painful, and might not heal till the nail is eliminated. In order to avoid ingrown toenails, you should trim your nails straight ahead [1].

What Are Causes Of Ingrown Toenails?

The causes of an ingrown toenail are:

  • Heredity: In a lot of people, the risk of ingrown toenails is inherited.
  • Improper trimming: One of the most common causes of ingrown toenails is cutting the nails too short. This will encourage the surrounding skin to fold over the toenail. Then, this nail could push into the skin and pierce it.
  • Toenail injury: If you drop something on the toe, or kicking something hard, it could result in ingrown toenails.
  • An unusual curvature: It increases the potential that the nail will develop into soft tissues, leading to possible infection and inflammation.
  • Posture: The way a person stands or walks could impact the chance of having ingrown toenails.
  • Excessive sweating and poor foot hygiene: If the skin on the feet and toes is warm and moist, chances are, an ingrown toenail may develop. The fungal infection even increases this risk.
  • Footwear: Socks or shoes which crowd both the toes and toenails can boost the risk of ingrown toenails. Shoes could be very tight as they are too narrow, too short and too flat at the end. Also, using tight-fitting tights, socks, and stockings might lead to ingrown toenails.
  • Genetic factors: Some individuals are born with the larger toenails [2] [3].

What Are Symptoms Of Ingrown Toenails?

The pain associated with an ingrown toenail can arise because of abnormalities or injury to any of toe structures, including bones, nerves, soft tissues and blood vessels. Toe pain is a rather common symptom because the human feet are exposed constantly to injury by running, walking, moving around or other athletic activity.

Some kinds of toe pain could be associated with burning, numbness, warmth and other symptoms.

When the nail pierces the toe skin, bacteria could break in, causing an infection. The area impacted will become swollen, warm, red and painful. There might be pus and bleeding.

Anyone with symptoms of infection had better seek medical help, either an orthopedic surgeon, a primary care physician, or specialist of foot care, aka podiatrist.

When To See A Doctor?

You should call your doctor if the ingrown toenails get infected, the pain does not disappear after attending to the nail, or if your nails are hard or thick that you could not relieve this condition. Sometimes, medical intervention is necessary, particularly for those with diabetes, who are at risk of complications due to foot infections [4].

Top 24 Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails Infection & Fungus Removal

The followings are natural home remedies for ingrown toenails infection and fungus. Despite many people resort to surgery if in being in the stages of 2 or 3, which is often not necessary when the nail is in the 1st stage, particularly if you care for the situation as soon as you notice it.

1. Soak Or Wash The Foot

When it comes to home remedies for ingrown toenails, this is a basic but important step. Soaking the foot in soapy, warm water could be beneficial in keeping the area clean and bacteria-free. You should soak your foot in the warm water 3-4 times per day. To get extra benefits, add Epsom salt to the water to help soften your affected skin, making it easier to draw out the nail from the skin.

2. Use Castile Soap To Wash

If soaking does not work well for your condition, you could try washing the affected area twice per day with water and soap. Consider using Castile soap because of its pure and natural ingredients. Warrant that you keep the foot dry and clean.

3. Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails – Apple Cider Vinegar

home remedies for ingrown toenails

Apple cider vinegar is an effective treatment among home remedies for ingrown toenails thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can relieve the symptoms. Furthermore, the mild acidic nature of this ingredient could also help prevent the infection.

You had better follow the methods below for 2-3 times per day till you get satisfied results:

Method 1:

  • Mix raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water with the ratio of 1:1 and put them in a small foot tub.
  • Soak your affected toenail in the mixture for 20-30 minutes.
  • After that, dry out your nail entirely

Method 2:

  • Soak a clean cotton ball in the raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Place it over your affected nail and use a bandage to cover it for several hours before removing it
4. Hydrogen Peroxide

Being a disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide can reduce the potential risk of infection and reduce inflammation and pain associated with ingrown toenails.

  • Put ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide in a small tub containing warm water
  • Soak your affected nails in this solution for about 20 minutes
  • Do this 1-2 times per day
5. Hot Water And Epsom Salt

This is considered one of best home remedies for ingrown toenails. What you need to do is taking some hot water and adding Epsom salt into it. After being done, soak your affected toe in the mixture. This solution will make the toenail soft.

After your toenail is soft a little bit, you dig into the toe in a gentle way and file that nail upwards. After being done, soak your toe into Epsom salt water once again and use a bandage to cover it. This will not only help heal the inflammation associated with an ingrown toenail but also vanish it in several days [5].

6. Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails – Lemon

Among home remedies for ingrown toenails, this is the easiest one because it is easy-to-find and helps heal the swelling and pain resulted from ingrown toenails. The acidity and anti-pathogenic properties of the lemon can cure the infection. Here are two methods you can use lemon for ingrown toenail removal:

Method 1:

  • Take a fresh lemon to slice
  • Place a slice over your affected area
  • Use a gauze to wrap it and wait till the next morning
  • Use a wooden orange stick particularly designed for nails to pry open embedded nail till it releases.
  • Then, roll a piece of cotton and place it over the affected area

Method 2:

  • Cut a few slices of lemons and soak them in warm water
  • Soak your feet in this water for about 20 minutes

This will help relieve the pain and soften the affected area in all natural ways.

Read also: 22 Natural Home Remedies For Skin Fungus On Hands, Thighs & Legs

7. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has natural antiseptic and disinfectant properties which can be used to provide a relief and cure ingrown toenails.

Use a cotton swab which is dipped in the oil to apply over your affected toe for 3-4 times per day. This will help reduce the infection resulting from an ingrown toenail.

Note: You can also combine peppermint oil or lavender oil or oregano essential oil with tea tree oil to remove the issue.

8. Turmeric

With the compound named curcumin, which has antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is worth mentioning in this list of home remedies for ingrown toenails. This ingredient has a long history of medicinal use, with a lot of benefits, primarily thanks to the curcumin. It is great for alleviating the pain as well as inflammation while making the nail grow appropriately.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder with ½ teaspoon of mustard oil to have a good paste
  • Apply it over your affected area and use a band-aid to secure it
  • Wait for several hours or overnight
  • Repeat this 2-3 times per day to cure ingrown toenails

Alternatively, you can use curcumin-containing antibiotic creams on the tender area and take a bandage to cover it. Repeat this routine twice or thrice per day.

Or, you can also combine turmeric powder with milk and drink this solution 1-2 times per day to alleviate the infection and pain.

Aside from utilizing one of the tips listed above, it is a good idea to add turmeric to your daily diet in order help lessen swelling and inflammation of the ingrown toenails because its powerful compounds can stimulate the blood flow and boost healing while decreasing the pain.

Read more: 20 Natural Home Remedies For Nail Growth And Strength

9. Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails – Castor Oil

home remedies for ingrown toenails

Castor oil can increase the circulation, so using it on the affected area will make the skin there become soft and relieve ingrown toenail. What you need to do is:

  • Apply castor oil over your affected nails regularly
  • Or, mix castor oil with baking soda and apply the mixture over your affected area. Wait for several minutes to rinse it off with water.
10. Onion

It is said that an ingrown toenail can be successfully treated with the use of onion. It sounds too good to be true, right? However, it does work thanks to great anti-inflammatory properties which can help treat multiple diseases, including an ingrown toenail. Also, it could be beneficial if applied topically.

What you have to do is:

  • Cook an onion, then blend it after boiling
  • Put it to a sterile piece of gauze while it is still warm
  • Apply that poultice to your affected area and use a bandage to cover it
  • Wait for at least 2 hours to remove it
11. Thyme Infusion

When it comes to home remedies for ingrown toenails using thyme, this is a medicinal plant having multiple benefits. One of them is helping fight infections, inflammation and calming pain. It is the reason why it is a perfect treatment for treating ingrown toenails. Take the steps below:

  • Prepare an infusion by putting 2 tablespoons of thyme in a cup of water
  • Boil this mixture for 5 minutes
  • Leave it there after it cools down a little bit
  • Soak your affected toe in the solution for 5-10 minutes
  • Repeat this routine a few times per day to see good results
12. Ginger

Ginger is a great blood flow stimulator, anti-inflammatory and a natural pain reliever. In order to cure ingrown nails from inside out, you could add 1-2 teaspoons of ground ginger to your daily meals. Besides, there are also other methods to use ginger for ingrown toenail removal, which are described below:

Method 1:

  • Apply crushed ginger paste over your infected toe
  • Use a cloth to cover it and remove it after a few hours or in the next morning

Method 2:

  • Mix 4 teaspoons of ginger root with 1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and sesame oil
  • Apply the mixture over your infected toe by using a cotton swab 3-4 times per day
13. Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails – Camphor

Another superb treatment for ingrown toenails is using camphor. Just need to mix some camphor in cinnamon or coconut oil, then apply it nightly to help cure the issue in several days.

14. Potassium Permanganate

Being a great disinfectant, potassium permanganate can keep your toes as well as feet clean. Also, it has tremendous antiseptic properties and is particularly used to treat fungal infections or canker sores. But, remember to use it in a very small amount.

To make use of this ingredient, in a water bucket, you add just a little bit of potassium permanganate, then submerge your feet in it for 15 to 20 minutes to relieve pain and inflammation caused by an inflammation of the affected toe.

Note: This treatment might cause some discoloration of your feet for several weeks or so.

15. White Flower Oil

This is traditional healing oil which works effectively for combating the pain associated with an ingrown toenail. White flower oil is originated from some essential oils, which is eucalyptus oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil.

To take advantage of white flower oil for removing an ingrown toenail and preventing it in advance, you can apply it on the affected area.

Take a clean cotton ball to soak in the oil, rub it gently around the area.


  • Avoid applying it directly to your affected toe.
  • Do not ingest this oil because it is poisonous.
16. Oregano Essential Oil

In case you do not have many different essential oils readily available and do not want to buy all of them, you can combine oregano essential oil with a certain carrier oil to have an effective treatment. Oregano is a common spice which is used in a lot of foods, but the high-quality oregano, aka origanum vulgare, can provide excellent therapeutic antibiotic properties and is famous for its bacteria-killing effects. According to researches, its germ-killing effects could be rather as effective as the most prescribed antibiotics. Also, it has antiviral, antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and pain-relieving properties.

Not to mention the ability of healing ingrown toenails, you could also use it to beat off other nail and foot problems, such as nail fungus. There are two ways to use it:

Method 1:

  • Put 1 teaspoon of oregano essential oil into a small bucket of warm water
  • Soak your feet in the solution for 20-30 minutes

Method 2:

  • Mix a drop of oregano oil with 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Place the mixture over your problematic area and use a band-aid to cover it
  • Remove it after a few hours
17. Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails – Vicks Vaporub

You can use vicks vaporub as one of effective home remedies for ingrown toenails due to its moisturizing and healing properties.

If applied and rubbed regularly on the affected toenail, it can cure the pain much faster and keep the nail softer and moisturized.

18. Indian Lilac

home remedies for ingrown toenails

Aka Neem, Indian Lilac possesses inflammation-reducing along with pain-suppressing properties that could lessen pain, swelling and inflammation caused by an ingrown toenail.

Even, it helps reduce the potential risk of getting an infection and encourage healing process.

  • Take a handful of Indian Lilac leaves to put in 4 cups of water
  • Boil it up, then strain it
  • After it cools down a little bit, you soak your affected area in the solution for 10-15 minutes
  • Dry your toes thoroughly and repeat it twice per day

For better results, before hitting the hay, apply neem oil onto your affected area, wait for the next morning to remove it off. Do this every day.

19. Egg White

This treatment is very helpful and quick that can give good results if used repeatedly. What you need to do is to beat one egg white, then apply it over your affected area. Do it a few times every day. The egg white can be preserved in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

20. Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails – Alcohol

Last but not least effective when it comes to home remedies for ingrown toenails infection and fungus is alcohol. This fool-proof treatment can cure the pain and inflammation caused by ingrown nails effectively. You can use a cotton ball to apply some alcohol onto your problematic area. It will soften the area surrounding the nail softer.

Home Remedies For Ingrown Toenails – Do’s And Don’ts


  • Wash your nails and feet with water and soap for 3-4 times per day
  • Maintain good foot hygiene to prevent the infection growing more
  • Wear open and comfortable footwear
  • Have a proper diet plan containing vitamins as well as protein-rich fruits and veggies to make your toenail healthier.
  • Use good quality moisturizer on your affected area to soothe it and make it softer so that the ingrown toenail could be cut quickly.
  • Use antibiotic cream or ointment on your problematic toe to kill off the bacteria and finally stop the infection from spreading. Use a bandage to cover it.
  • Inspect the problematic toe to notice signs of infection, like increased pain, swelling, redness or drainage of pus.
  • People with diabetes had better check their feet every day for signs of infection as well as other foot problems
  • If the ingrown toenail still remains for several weeks or shows some terrible signs, you had better consult a doctor to avoid any complication.


  • Avoid taking a pedicure upon suffering from an ingrown toenail
  • Avoid trimming your nail too short.
  • Do not consume too much sugary food
  • Do not wear colorful socks because the dyes in them might make your situation worse.

Tips To Cut An Ingrown Toenail:

Cutting ingrown toenails could be hard, which is the reason why you should be very careful to do it. Some detailed guidelines are:

  • Soak your feet in the warm water which is mixed with castile soap or Epsom salt for approximately 20 minutes. This will help soften the surrounding skin as well as toenail and decrease swelling as well.
  • Use clean fingers to push back the swollen skin. Avoid forcing it back more than your swollen skin allows.
  • Cut the nail quickly and straight across. Begin from the edges, cut from the nail’s sides, not from the middle.
  • Put a small clean piece of cotton in between the skin and ingrown nail to prevent the ingrown nail from coming back, letting it develop properly
  • Apply one of the methods described before to the area, use a band-aid to cover it.

At the end, ingrown toenails are painful but treatable as long as you are serious about treating them. Even if it seems rather silly to consult a doctor for a toenail, the circumstance of never having to cope with it again will feel worth it.

Hope that after reading this list of natural home remedies for ingrown toenails, you can choose some of them to apply to your real case and get good results. Then, do not hesitate to share your experience with us by dropping words at the comment box below. We will feedback as soon as possible.

For further information about health and beauty topics, feel free to visit our Home Remedies page.

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