Ingrown Toenail Tips

ingrown toenail


If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail or want to prevent it, then these ingrown toenail tips are for you. Here are 5 top tips you can try immediately at home to manage your ingrown toenail before seeing a podiatrist.


What’s an ingrown toenail?   

An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin instead of growing straight out, causing irritation, swelling, and ongoing pain to the adjacent flesh. An ingrown toenail can really interfere with your everyday life. When it flares up, wearing any enclosed shoes can be painful during the day.

At night, even the slightest pressure like the weight of your bedsheet touching your affected toe could cause excruciating pain. And how will it affect you running or playing your favourite sport with a sore toe?

Ever wondered what you can do at home to alleviate your sore ingrown toenail before seeing a podiatrist?

Ever wished that you knew the proper way to manage your toenails and avoid an ingrown toenail?

Here are the top 5 tips we have prepared for you to help you avoid and/or manage your ingrown toenail better before visiting a podiatrist.

Here are some ingrown toenail tips for you!

TIP #1 To avoid ingrown toenails, always cut your nails straight across and gently file the sides. When you cut the sides of the nail too far back or too aggressively, the skin can sometimes grow over the edge of the nail and become susceptible to ingrown toenail.

TIP #2 If you pick your nails, STOP doing it. when you pick your nails, small splinters can form from the nail and puncture the skin. Yes, your kids may be doing this all the time behind you then complain of having a sore toenail.


TIP #3 Soaking the affected foot may help reduce swelling and ease pain. Adding Epsom salts to the water may bring additional relief. Vinegar is a folk remedy for almost everything these days, including ingrown toenails.

It’s believed to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving abilities. Use apple cider vinegar for extra anti-fungal effect, great for athlete’s foot (tinea).To try this remedy, prepare a basin of warm water combined with 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. Soak foot three times a day for up to 20 minutes. Dry foot thoroughly after soaking


TIP #4 To get relief from an ingrown toenail, try to gently lift up the corner of the nail that is digging into the skin, then take a small piece of cotton wool or sterile gauze and pack it under the nail corner/edge to lift it over the skin.

You may want to soak the nail in warm, soapy water or vinegar first to soften it. Change the cotton or gauze 2-3 times every day for hygiene reason.

*We generally don’t recommend using this technique as there is an increased risk of infection associated. If there is already an established infection, do not use this method.


TIP #5 Tight shoes and socks can squish your toes together causing the skin to push up against the side of the toenail. Ill-fitting shoes is one of the leading causes of developing an ingrown toenail.

Avoid tight-fitting, pointed-toe shoes to prevent and stop aggravating an ingrown toenail. When the toenail is already sore, consider putting a small cotton ball between the affected toes to alleviate the pressure on the toenail allowing it to heal.

Hopefully, these tips can help you to prevent or alleviate your ingrown toenail.

Director | Rehabilitation or Rehab / Sports Podiatrist,

Foot Mobilisation & Trigenics® Lower Limb Practitioner, Movement Restoration Coach (MRC™), Strength and Conditioning Coach

Is Pain Impacting Your Life?

You don’t need to live like this. Let us help you!

The Footwork Clinic, situated in Chatswood on Sydney’s North Shore and Sydney CBD, is there to help should you have an injury or condition that you think would benefit from heat or ice treatment. They offer advanced manual therapies and a holistic and corrective care approach, with a proven track record of success in resolving acute and chronic conditions, and they will gladly offer advice to get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.

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The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.

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