T Nation

Ingrown Toenail


Anyone have any home remedies for getting rid of an ingrown toenail? I have never had one and do not really want to shell out the bucks to visit the doctor. I have tried Epsom salt soaks but it does not seem to be working. Thanks for the advice.


go to a doc.

or, if you are truly manly, just rip the whole thing out with a pair of pliers, using a knife to expose it first


I have had two over the years, and the only way I was able to get rid of it was, letting the Dr pull it out.. its pain like a bitch but thats how you gotta do it.

What he did was, apply general anestesia, cut the offending nail in half and ripped it out. this made the other half fall while the new nail was growing in.

If youre gonna do this yourself, be sterile!

And dont cut into the sides of your nail when it heals, just straight across.
Hope this helps!


Use nail clippers, pry it out, clip it as close as you can to the area where it attaches to the nail bed, WITHOUT clipping the nail bed because that hurts like a mofo. Don't clip it all the way off - leave it attached at the end a litle bit. Yank. When it heals, quit clipping the corners and sides of your toenails. Clip straight across.


The outer tip of both my big toes grow in. I went to the doc and he told me I had to choices: 1.surgery that with keep the toenail from ever growing back or 2. Useng toenail clippers, start in the center of the nail and cut slowly in toward to outside, in a pyramid type shape, when you get to the outer edge grab the toenail (1/8" wide at outer) and rip the piece out. I chose the ripping out choice. I have to do it at least once a month. It process doesnt hurt, you will only feel a mild sensation for a second after ripping it out.

Hope this help & good luck,


Bugger that! not sure if that's manly or truly screwed up.
My remedy (depending on current severity) is to use small, strong, nail scissors (preferably blokey ones not girly ones that'll bend) and cut the top of your nail flat across. Then with a nice square top on the nail now, use the little scissors to cut a small wedge down each side of the nail, going down as far as you comfortably can on each side... / \ is the kind of shape and flat across the top. This will help the nail grow inward and longer rather than out (wide) causing the ingrowth. If you're not in too much pain you can do this and the nail should grow out soon enough. Once the pain has gone and from here on for the rest of your days, cut your toe nails (presumable the big toes only) with a flat top to encourage this type of growth...

Or, you can rip it out with pliers as suggested.... Either way, I'd still see a doc.

Good luck


This is going to sound insane, but...

When I was about 14 I ended up with ingrowns on each big toe. Hurt like hell. Ended up getting infected. I was told about this whole "ripping it out" thing, and that's what was awaiting me at the doctor.

So one afternoon I soaked my feet in hot water, sterilized an exacto knife, a pair of tweezers, and nail clippers, and then fixed the damned thing myself.

After trimming the nail so that only the piece growing into the toe was left at full length, I cut along the skin where the nail had grown in. I got rid of the tough top layer, then nicked the skin open enough that I could squeeze the tweezers in, grab ahold of the nail sliver, and pulled on it until it came out of the flesh -- complete with green puss. Trimmed the nail, and set about dumping rubbing alcohol on the toe after squeezing out the remaining nastiness. I then repeated with the other toe.

Haven't had a problem since.


Soak it in hot water/epson salt first.


Good advice. It'll soften the nail/skin you need to clip.


If the nail isn't terribly ingrown, Dr. Scholls makes a bandaid that has a small ridge on the padding. You lay this ridge in between the toe and nail and hopefully after a few days the nail will have grown enough that it can be clipped straight across. You can find them in the foot care section at your local walmart.


Whenever I've had one I just get in there and start operating.

Yank out all the little bits growing by themselves and make sure it's only clean nail left. Just don't get too carried away.

Will hurt constantly for about a week and then you'll be fine.

Or you won't, not like i'm a dr!


Yea, cut it out with a knife and make sure everything is sterile first. Then put neosporin all over it. Done.


All I can say about ripping the nail out yourself is F*^%$# ouch!. I have had 5 or 6 ingrown nails, all removed by doctors, and it was painfull enough with the ansthetic, I can't imagine without.

They just kept coming back, though. It wasn't until I got into Karate and spent alot more time in barefeet that they went away. I also started wearing boots that weren't as tight. Haven't had problems for 15 yrs now.

Good luck.


I've had a few ingrown nails, and this has worked every time. It is a home remedy my grandmother taught me. All you have to do is cut a small triangular wedge out of the middle of the nail. It will look like a small triangle has been removed from the middle of your toenail (only the white part).

This will encourage your nail to grow inward, thus extricating your nail from your toe. It will take about a week or two for it to work, depending on how fucked up you are to begin with. It's absolutely painless and it works 100% of the time.


I had part of one toenail root killed but the doc didnt kill it all. I now get a separate branch that I have to dig out every few months. Doesnt hurt much though. I've gotten used to the pain. Its a tad sore for a few days after though.

P.S. If you dig it out yourself, wrap a nice amount of gauze it to suck up all the blood thats pour at night!

P.P.S getting an ingrown toenail is 99.9% because of how you clip it. Make sure you're cliping it right and not too close. You should have 1/16th of the calcium (white part) showing after you clip it. That will prevent it from becoming a problem, like yours is.

P.P.P.S Yes I've had a few encounters with ingrown toenails.


I have used a product called Itchamall cant remember if thats the correct spelling.Had to order from pharmacy,and it drew out all the soreness and infection,sort of smells like tar and is an old remedy for drawing things out of body.


Just had one a few months ago. I didn't want to go to the doc to have it removed, so, I operated on it myself. My mom is a manicurist so I had so trade specific tools availible. Dug in and cut out what I could. The I soaked it in Epsom salt for about 4 nights.

After a little research the above people are correct, it has just about everything to do with how you maintain your nails.


It is my hypothesis that ingrown toe nails are cause because your feet don?t get enough air. I never had them bad but since I have been wearing sandals the majority of the time my toe nails no longer hurt.


Is your nail curved downward, or does it just have a spike that is digging in?

I get a lot of fingernail spikes from working with my hands. I usually use one tip of a pair of tweezers to pry up the side of the nail, while sliding down to the spike, then grab the spike with the tweezers and rip it off. With two free hands (for a toenail), you could use a separate tool to help with the prying.


Now for the reality check as part of my clinicals I worked at the trauma center and had at least three patients come in with major staff infections from some of these cockeyed home remedies all required surgery after the mess they made and were all laid up the healthiest one was in the hospital for three weeks and then on crutches for a month the worst one lost his leg just below the knee. The other guy suffered through numerous debredments and and other such things and eventually got better but lost about 60 lbs of bdy wt from the infection.

Moral: Home Surgery not a good Idea!