Everything you need to know about removing ingrown toenails

Everything you need to know about removing ingrown toenails

Are you dealing with ingrown toenails? Well, ingrown toenails are a common ailment. You might be wondering what causes them and how they can be treated. They often happen when the nail grows into the skin of your toe instead of over it. Depending on the direness of the situation, it may lead to pain and even infection. But how can you remove ingrown toenails? Let’s explore the topic.

How to Identify an Ingrown Toenail


One of the first symptoms of ingrown toenails is constant pain. If you are trying to cut your nails by yourself, make sure that you do not cut them too short as it can lead to this problem. Also, if your shoes don’t fit properly, that can also cause an ingrown toenail.

Redness and swelling

If you see that your toe is red and swollen, it might indicate ingrown toenails. It is important to take care of the infection as soon as possible. Otherwise, it can cause and then worsen the pain.

Difficulty walking

If you are having difficulty walking because of the pain, it might indicate that you have ingrown toenails. You may not be able to walk properly, which can lead to other problems.

Drainage and pus

If drainage or pus is coming out of your toe, it is definitely an infection. This means that you need to take care of it as soon as possible. Ignoring the infection will make it worse and cause a lot of pain.


If you have a fever, it might indicate that you have an infection. You need to see a doctor and get the necessary treatment as soon as possible!

What are the Causes of Ingrown Toenails?

There can be several causes for ingrown toenails. We have explained a number of them below.

Cutting your nails too short

This is one of the most common causes of ingrown toenails. When you cut your nails too short, it can lead to the nail growing into the skin of your toe. This can be very painful and cause an infection if not taken care of properly.

Wearing tight shoes

If you constantly wear tight shoes, it can also lead to ingrown toenails. The tight shoes will push your toes together, and this can cause the nails to grow into the skin.


If you are a nail biter, you are more likely to get ingrown toenails. This is because when you bite your nails, it can cause the nails to be uneven. This can lead to the nail growing into the skin of your toe. It mostly happens to children as they can just as easily fold their feet and get them to their mouths.

Improper trimming of the nails

If you do not trim your nails properly, it can also lead to ingrown toenails. When you trim your nails, make sure that you leave enough space for the nails to grow. Do not cut them too short.


If you have a family history of ingrown toenails, then you are more likely to get them as well. This is because it is a genetic condition.

Improper hygiene

If you do not maintain good hygiene, it can lead to infections. Infections at your toe will not only lead to ingrown toenails, but they can also cause other problems.

Injury or trauma

If you have injured or traumatised your nail bed somehow, it can also lead to ingrown toenails. When the injury is severe, it can lead to the nail growing into the skin.

Possible Ways to Treat an Ingrown Toenail

There are various ways to control or manage the growth of these unwanted ingrown nails. You can either remove it at home or visit your doctor, depending on the extremity. Let’s explore these ingrown toenail treatment options.

A Step by Step Procedure of How to Treat Ingrown Toenail at Home

With this guide, you quickly learn how to get rid of an ingrown toenail overnight.

Clean the Area with Antiseptic Solution

The first step is to clean the area with an antiseptic solution. This will help to kill any bacteria or infection that might be present. You can use a cotton ball to apply the solution.

Apply a Warm Compress or Soak Your Feet in Hot Water for 15 Minutes

The next step is to apply a warm compress or soak your feet in hot water for 15 minutes. This will help to open up the pores and relax the skin. You can also use Epsom salt when you are soaking your feet to help draw out the infection. It is effective in drawing out any remaining debris left behind after trimming.

Use Tweezers to Pull Out the Ingrown Nail Gently

The next step is to use tweezers to pull out the ingrown nail gently. This should only be done when the nail has not yet healed completely. Pulling it too early can lead to pain, redness and swelling. You need to wait until the area has almost healed before you go ahead and remove it.

If you find it difficult to remove it on your own, you can take help from someone else. If you try to remove it on your own, make sure that you sterilize the tweezers before using them.

Apply an Antibiotic Ointment

After removing the ingrown nail, you need to apply an antibiotic ointment. This will help to prevent any infection from occurring.

You can use a store-bought antibiotic ointment or make your own solution by mixing equal parts of honey and vinegar. Apply the mixture to a cotton ball and place it on the affected area. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water.

Keep Nails Trimmed Short and Even

The last step is to keep your nails trimmed short and even. This will help to prevent the nails from growing into the skin. You can either use a nail clipper or a nail file to trim them. Make sure that you only file them in one direction and not back and forth.

Medical Treatments for Ingrown Toenails

If the home remedies fail and the ingrown toenail does not go away, then you can always visit your doctor. Let’s explore some of the medical treatments.

Surgical Removal

The first option is surgical removal. This is the most common treatment for ingrown toenails, and it is also the most effective. During the surgery, your doctor will remove the entire nail, including the embedded portion in the skin.

This is a relatively simple procedure and can be done under local anaesthesia. You will have to go in for multiple sessions until your entire nail has been removed.

Different methods can be used during the surgery, including complete excision or partial removal. You need to discuss this with your doctor and decide which method would work best.

Laser Removal

Another option is laser removal. This is a newer procedure that is used to remove the ingrown nail. The laser is directed at the nail, and it helps to break down the tissue.

This is a relatively painless procedure and does not require any anaesthesia. However, it is expensive, and not everyone is a candidate for it. Always ensure that you get insights from your doctor before making a final choice.

Wart Removal

Wart removal is another medical treatment that can remove ingrown nails. You may need to take multiple sessions to remove the wart completely, but this method works well in most cases. The only downside of using this method is that it can be pretty painful.


If the ingrown toenail is infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection. This is a simple and effective way to get rid of the infection, and it also helps prevent any further complications.

You will need to take the antibiotics for a while until the infection has cleared up. Once it is gone, you will not have to worry about getting another ingrown toenail.

Oral Retinoids

This is a more extreme treatment option and should be used only when all previous treatments fail. To make this work, you need to take an oral retinoid for a few months. You need to do this regularly until the ingrown nail has cleared up.

This is another expensive treatment option, and it also carries some risks. Make sure that you are comfortable with the side effects before going ahead with this method.

Tips to Prevent Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can be messy and not too pleasant to deal with. Lucky for you, there are several ways to prevent them from occurring. Here is how.

Keeping Your Toenails Trimmed Short

It is always good to keep your toenails trimmed short. It prevents the nails from growing too long and causing problems. Don’t cut them too short, though!

Soaking Your Feet

Soaking your feet in warm water can also help to prevent ingrown nails. It will help soften the nails and make them easier to trim. You can add some salt or vinegar to the water for added benefits.

Filing Your Nails in One Direction

Filing your nails in one direction can also help to prevent ingrown nails. This keeps the nails smooth and free from any sharp edges.

Using a Nail Clipper or File

It is important to use a good quality nail clipper or file. With the right clipper, you can easily prevent any nicks or cuts in the nails that can increase the risk of an ingrown nail.


Ingrown toenail removal can seem challenging, but plenty of treatments are available. You should try the home remedy at first and see how the infected ingrown toenail fares. If it persists, we encourage you to visit your doctor and discuss all the available treatment plans. They are professionals and will advise you on what to do with an ingrown toenail the best!

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