An ingrown toenail is when the corner or side of your nail grows into the flesh on your toe. They most commonly occur on the big toes. Typically they lead to redness, swelling and a lot of pain. Sometimes they can also get infected.

Mix 2 tbsp. Epsom salts into a basin of warm water. Soak the foot that has the ingrown toenail for 15 to 20 minutes. This softens your toenail and the skin around it.

Pull the skin of the toe away from the nail gently, using your fingers.

Apply a small amount of over the counter topical antiseptic to the area of the toe where the nail had grown in.

Place a small piece of cotton between the toenail and the toe. You need to leave the cotton in place for a few days until the nail grows out and the toe heals. Tape the toe using medical tape to hold the cotton in place and protect it while it is healing.

Numb your toe by applying an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes. Reapply the ice pack every few hours if pain returns.

Take aspirin or acetaminophen to ease the pain from the ingrown toenail.


  • To avoid getting painful ingrown toenails, cut your nails straight across using toenail clippers.

  • Wear shoes that fit properly to prevent ingrown toenails. If your shoes squeeze or pinch your toes, the chances of ingrown toenails are greater.