Nail Infections

How To Treat An Infected Ingrown Toenail

Alba Charles
By Alba Charles . Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Treat An Infected Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails are very painful and uncomfortable. This condition, also known as onychocryptosis, happens when a sharp end of the nail penetrates the skin around the toe. The very first symptom is an immflamation of the toe that can be followed by an infection and the secretion of pus.

This infection is very painful and can make a simple action such as walking or putting on your shoes very complicated and harsh. Here at OneHowTo we explain you how to treat an infected ingrown toenail.

You may also be interested in: How to Soften Toenails

Steps to follow:


The first step is to soak your foot on warm water for 15-20 minutes with a solution of any of the following:

  • One part white vinegar with four parts of water
  • One tablespoon of Epsom salt diluted in water

You should do this two or three times a day. It will reduce the swelling and relieve the pain. The water should never be too hot.

At OneHowTo we give you some home remedies to treat ingrown toenails.

How To Treat An Infected Ingrown Toenail - Step 1

Elevate the food and leg to reduce pressure


If you've reduced the pain after soaking your foot on the water, you can carefully slip a small piece of cotton under the edge of the nail to lift it and take it out from under the skin. Doing this the nail will come out of the skin and it will not make any more pressure, so the pain will go away. You can dip the cotton in antiseptic to avoid an infection under the nail.


If it's summer, wear sandals until the infection goes away. Keep your foot dry during the day.

How To Treat An Infected Ingrown Toenail - Step 4

You might need antibiotics to treat the infection, so you should see your doctor if the pain doesn't go away after a few days.


If the swelling continues and it's painful, you can take pain relievers such as ibuprofen.


Do not use a needle to prick the swollen skin and drain the pus. This could make the infection worse.


When the nail starts growing and you can lift it with a cotton, leave it grow a bit more. Once it has grown enough cut it straight across. You should never cut your nails rounded off at the end because this could lead to further ingrown nails.


When suffering from an ingrown toenail you should never cut the nail or dig under it. Also never puncture the skin to drain the infection. Even if you think your utensils are clean, they might cause serious damage.

How To Treat An Infected Ingrown Toenail - Step 9

The first step to avoid further ingrown nails is to cut your toenails correctly. As said before, you should never cut your nails rounded off at the end, instead make them straight. Cutting your nails is not the only cause for ingrown toenails, it can also happen after a bang on your foot or constant daily micro-trauma. Tight shoes can also originate ingrown toenails.


If your ingrown toenail doesn't heal after some days, visit a doctor. He or she will prescribe you antibiotics if you need them and will clean and take care of your toenail.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Treat An Infected Ingrown Toenail, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

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How To Treat An Infected Ingrown Toenail