▷ Home Remedies for Ingrown Fingernails

Home Remedies for Ingrown Fingernails

By Sabrina Wilson / March 15, 2017
Home Remedies for Ingrown Fingernails

One of the worst feelings in the world is having a problem with your fingers, like an ingrown nail. It never fails that whenever you have this type of issue, you always knock that finger into things accidentally which makes the pain of it flare up even more than before.

Ingrown fingernails are unsightly and uncomfortable, but one of those things that you just have to deal with until you decide to hack your finger up with the nail clippers trying to fix it, right? Actually, that’s not necessary. There are some great home remedies for ingrown fingernails that will make it much easier and less painful for you to get your hands back into hand model shape.

#1 Epsom Salt Soak

Epsom salt is a savior in the bathroom. Soaking in a tub of Epsom salt is excellent for anyone that’s had a rough day working out or making a fun homemade salt scrub to get rid of dead and rough skin on knees and elbows. An Epsom salt soak can do wonders for an ingrown nail. This is beneficial for the same reason why we like to soak our sore muscles in it in that it will help to eliminate inflammation and soreness. Soak in warm water mixed with Epsom salt for about twenty minutes twice a day until you're able to safely remove the nail.

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#2 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is on a large list of natural remedies, and that’s because it’s a powerhouse for health and wellness. Like Epsom salt, apple cider vinegar acts as an agent to reduce inflammation, and it also works as a way to reduce getting a bacterial infection. To use this, you’ll want to mix several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in some warm water to soak your finger. Let it soak in this solution for about 10 minutes three times a day until this condition starts to improve.

#3 Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a great choice for a soak in case you’re worried about the potential for infection. You’ll add some hydrogen peroxide to warm water to soak your fingernails. If you don’t have time for soaking, you can just put some hydrogen peroxide on a cotton square and apply it directly to your affected finger.

#4 Lemon

Lemons are a very beneficial fruit that often gets overlooked when it comes to the health benefits. This isn’t just for a tasty drink, but can also be useful in helping your ingrown nail problem. You’ll want to rub a lemon on your problem finger, and it’ll help bring the nail up. Some people take a slice of lemon, and wrap it around the finger to sit overnight. If applying the lemon directly is painful due to a cut on the finger, you can also make a warm water soak with lemon juice.

#5 Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a wonderful essential oil that has many healing properties, in addition, to be antibacterial, antifungal, and antivira ​(buy it here)​​​l. This also will help with inflammation. You can apply this directly to a cotton ball to apply to your affected fingernail or create a warm water soak for it. Some people have sensitive skin that does better with diluted tea tree oil as it can be rather strong like most essential oils.

#6 Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is another essential oil that provides a health benefit to those that use it ​(buy it here)​​​. This oil will work well for your fingernail issue along with smelling great. Not everyone likes the scent of tea tree oil as it has a rather medicinal smell, but lavender is very sweet smelling making it more palatable for most users. You’ll apply it in the same fashion. You’ll either want to apply it directly or dilute it with warm water for a good soak.

#7 Potassium Permanganate

Potassium permanganate is another natural salt compound that can have a positive effect on your ingrown fingernail situation. This acts as an antiseptic when used as a soak. You’ll need a fourth a teaspoon mixed with a gallon of water. You’ll want to soak your impacted finger for about twenty minutes two to three times a day for about two weeks. One thing to keep in mind is that with this natural remedy you may find that it dyes the soaked area brown.

#8 Cotton Tube

A cotton tube is a great way to deal with an ingrown nail if you’re not into soaking your fingers. This may be a bit hard to do at first if you live alone without another hand along with being a bit uncomfortable at first, but it will get easier. You’ll need to take some cotton, and tape it along your impacted finger. Slowly, put some of the cotton fabric underneath the nail that is ingrown to remove it from the skin. It may be helpful to use some antibiotic ointment and pain medication as this can be somewhat painful as you’re forcing the nail to move. You may find it beneficial to use one of the many soaks available to soften the nail before using your cotton tube.

#9 Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of those things that often sit in the back of your kitchen cabinets, but has a lot of uses you may not consider. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and neutralizes acids. To use this, you’ll want to make it into a paste. Take a small amount of baking soda, and slowly add water to it. Mix it as you go to get a thick paste that’s not too runny. Apply it to your impacted finger generously, and you’ll want to wrap it in gauze or another bandage to keep it in contact with the skin. This is great as an overnight treatment that takes just a small amount of time to prepare and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

#10 Preventative Care

The way that you care for your nails could be causing your problems with ingrown fingernails. One of the first things that you need to do when performing nail care is to cut your nails straight rather than curved. Curving the nail can encourage it to grow into the skin on the side of your finger. Also, when cutting your nails, try not to cut them too short as this can contribute to the problem. Be sure to use nail clippers rather than trying to tear your nails with your teeth or other fingernails as ragged fingernails can cause issues, too. File any sharp edges after cutting gently to soften them, so they are no longer sharp, but gently enough you don’t go too far down with sculpting them.

You also want to keep your nails clean as poor hygiene may play a role in fingernail problems, especially infections. If you're having a hard time with nails on your toes becoming ingrown, you should also look into wearing shoes that aren’t too tight around the toe box area.

A final note is that you want to start dealing with an ingrown fingernail as soon as you notice it’s becoming a problem. Waiting too long may make it worse to deal with until you’ve got the potential for a problem infection. Start treatment right away to keep your hands healthy.

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Caution: Infections, Diabetes, and Nail Care

There are a few cautions when it comes to dealing with ingrown fingernails. There are some considerations to take into account for your health. If you’ve found that your ingrown fingernail appears to be infected with signs like painful red and swollen skin, pus, fever, and it’s painful to move the joints in your fingers, it’s time to see a doctor. It may seem silly to you to go to a doctor for something as little as an ingrown nail, but an infection isn’t something that you want to take any chances with for your health and well being. They can give you an antibiotic if they believe it’s warranted, and may even need to surgically handle your ingrown fingernail. They may even have to drain an abscess depending on your finger’s condition due to the nail problem.

Also, if you happen to be diabetic, your nail care is extra delicate, and it’s essential that you speak with your healthcare provider to have them assist you with your nail issues. There’s a good chance that if you try to handle this on your own, that you could do more harm than good.


Ingrown fingernails can be the bane of your existence. They hurt. They look bad. They are just all-around no fun to deal with. Your fingernails are going to feel pampered and much better once you start investing some time in these home remedies for ingrown fingernails. Have you used one of these remedies on this list for your ingrown fingernails or do you have your own remedy for ingrown fingernail problems? Be sure to comment below to let others know about your story of dealing with this type of nail problem.

If you enjoyed this article, share with your friends and family in case they need a new way to deal with their ingrown fingernail problem in a safe and effective way through natural remedies.

About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

Lisa Hill - January 8, 2019

These all are best remedies to get beautiful nails and skin as well. I used baking soda for my hands and feet. It works effectively. I like this article so much. Thanks and keep sharing.

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