Often, you trim your toenails to a short length so you can wear your socks, tights, and shoes comfortably. You will likely trim them while tapering the corners to allow nails to curve with your toe shape. While this technique seems pleasing, it may encourage the growth of your toenail into the edge of your skin, causing ingrown toenail cypress. You will notice swelling, tenderness, and redness on the infected toenails, which may also be painful. In severe cases, ingrown toenails may produce pus, a sign of infection, which may need surgery. Here are a few treatment options you can explore to treat ingrown toenails.

Home Remedies

You can try home care practices like keeping your feet in warm water thrice daily for up to 20 minutes. The rest of the time, keep your feet and shoes dry, free from moisture and warmth. Push away the skin from your toenail edge with olive oil-soaked cotton. You can also put a small bit of cotton under your toenail to help your nail grow above the skin’s edge. Apply topical antibiotics, petroleum jelly, and steroid creams on your toenails to prevent infections.

Additionally, take pain relievers like ibuprofen to ease the pain. Lastly, choose open-toed shoes until you feel better around the toenails.

Treating the Nail

Home remedies may offer to help with your ingrown toenails, forcing you to seek medical intervention. Your doctor will likely recommend carefully lifting the ingrown nail edge and placing a splint under it. The splint will separate your skin and nail to prevent your nails from growing above the edge. Another treatment option may involve partial nail removal, especially for severely ingrown toenails that produce pain and pus. Such treatment may take up to four months before your toenails can grow back. Repeated issues on the same nail will require a different treatment involving removing a part of your nail and its underlying tissue. The procedure may prevent the removed part from growing back again. You will need to avoid things that may hurt your toe after treatment and stay away from hot water until your doctor approves.


You may need surgery if your toenail has severe swelling and inflammation, produces discharge, and causes excess pain. Surgery may include partial nail removal, where your doctor numbs your toe, narrows your toenail, and removes the piece growing in your skin edge. Your doctor will then cut away the nail at the side to keep them straight and then place cotton under the remaining nail to prevent a recurrence. The second surgical option is total nail removal, especially if thickening is causing the ingrown toenail. Your doctor will administer a pain injection and remove your nail, a procedure known as matrixectomy. After an entire nail removal, your nail may go beyond a year before they can grow back.

There are different reasons why you may develop ingrown toenails. Some may be congenital, trauma when you stub your toe, and improper nail trimming and grooming. You can begin treating your condition with home solutions and opt for medical treatment if they fail. Surgery becomes an option if you have severe ingrown toenails that produce pus and are severely inflamed.

By Alexander James

Beau Alexander James: Beau, a mental health advocate, shares personal stories, coping strategies, and promotes mental health awareness and understanding.