How to Get Rid of an Ingrown Fingernail: The Best Tips

Ingrown fingernails can be painful and bothersome. If you’re dealing with this issue, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of ingrown fingernails and provide a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of an ingrown fingernail effectively. Whether you’re experiencing a mild ingrown nail or a more severe case, this article is worth reading to ensure you get rid of an ingrown fingernail safely and effectively.

Key Takeaways

  • An ingrown nail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin, leading to redness, swelling, and occasionally infection.
  • Ignoring an ingrown nail can cause further complications and increased pain.
  • There are several quick relief and prevention methods that you can use to treat an ingrown nail.

What is an Ingrown Fingernail?

An ingrown fingernail, also known as onychocryptosis, occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the surrounding skin, causing pain, redness, and inflammation. It’s a common condition that can affect anyone, and if left untreated, it may lead to infection and further complications.

Causes of Ingrown Fingernails

Ingrown fingernails can result from various factors, including improper nail trimming, trauma to the nail, or genetic predisposition. Trimming your nails straight across and avoiding cutting them too short can help prevent ingrown nails. It’s essential to understand the common causes to take preventive measures effectively.

Signs of an Ingrown Nail

How do you know if you have an ingrown fingernail? Look out for the following signs:

  • Pain and tenderness around the nail
  • Redness and swelling
  • Inflammation of the nail fold
  • Pus or drainage
  • Changes in the appearance of the nail

If your fingernail shows signs of infection, such as pus and increased redness, it’s crucial to take action promptly to prevent the infection from spreading.

How to Get Rid of an Ingrown Fingernail

If you have a mild ingrown fingernail, you may be able to treat it at home using simple remedies. Here’s how:

  • Soak the affected finger in warm water for 20 minutes. This helps soften the nail and surrounding skin.
  • After soaking, gently lift the ingrown edge of the nail using a clean towel or a piece of cotton. Be careful not to cause further damage.
  • You can also place a small piece of dental floss, cotton, or gauze under the ingrown edge to encourage the nail to grow away from the skin.
  • Keep the area clean by washing it with soap and water.
  • To reduce pain and inflammation, you can take over-the-counter pain relievers.

Remember that while these home remedies can be effective for mild cases, if your ingrown fingernail is severe or shows signs of infection, it’s essential to seek medical intervention.

Medical Intervention for Severe Cases

For more severe cases of ingrown fingernails or when home remedies don’t work, medical intervention may be necessary. Here are some options your healthcare provider may consider:

  • Nail Avulsion: In this procedure, a portion of the nail is removed to prevent it from growing into the skin. It’s typically done under local anesthesia.
  • In-Office Procedure: Your doctor may perform a minor in-office procedure to remove the ingrown portion of the nail and treat any infection. This can provide quick relief and prevent further complications.
  • Prescription Medications: In some cases, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or ointments to treat the infection and reduce inflammation.

Preventing Future Ingrown Fingernails

Once you’ve successfully treated your ingrown fingernail, it’s essential to take steps to prevent it from recurring. Here are some tips:

  • Trim your nails straight across to avoid creating sharp edges.
  • Don’t cut your nails too short.
  • Avoid picking at your nails or the surrounding skin.
  • Keep your nails clean and dry.
  • Wear protective gloves when engaging in activities that could traumatize your nails, such as gardening.

By following these preventive measures, you can reduce the risk of developing ingrown fingernails in the future.


Dealing with an ingrown fingernail can be a painful experience, but it’s essential to address it promptly to prevent complications. Whether you choose to try at-home remedies or seek medical intervention, the key is to take action when you notice the signs. By following the advice in this article, you can get rid of an ingrown fingernail and enjoy pain-free, healthy nails.

  • Ingrown fingernails can be painful and bothersome.
  • Understanding the causes and signs of ingrown fingernails is crucial.
  • Home remedies can be effective for mild cases, but medical intervention may be necessary for severe ingrown nails.
  • Preventing future ingrown fingernails is possible by following simple nail care tips.

Remember, your fingernail health is essential, so take care of your nails and seek help when needed.

Learn More About Ingrown Fingernails

These resources provide comprehensive information on ingrown fingernails, including causes, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention tips. They are written in a clear and concise style, and they are easy to understand for people with no medical background.

If you are concerned about an ingrown fingernail, it is always best to see a doctor or podiatrist for diagnosis and treatment. However, the resources listed above can provide you with valuable information and support as you learn more about this condition.


Q: What is an ingrown nail?

A: An ingrown nail occurs when the edge of a nail grows into the surrounding skin, causing pain and inflammation.

Q: What are the common causes of ingrown nails?

A: Ingrown nails can be caused by cutting your nails improperly, wearing tight shoes, or trauma to the nail.

Q: How can I treat an ingrown nail at home?

A: You can try soaking the affected finger in warm water, gently lifting the nail away from the skin, and keeping the area clean. However, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider for proper treatment.

Q: What are the signs of a nail infection?

A: Signs of a nail infection may include redness, swelling, pain, and discharge from the affected area.

Q: When should I seek medical treatment for an ingrown nail?

A: It is advisable to seek medical treatment if the ingrown nail is causing severe pain, the finger is infected, or if you have a recurrent ingrown nail.

Q: How can a healthcare provider treat an ingrown nail?

A: A healthcare provider can provide treatment options such as antibiotics for infections, lifting the nail to relieve pressure, or in severe cases, removing a portion of the nail.

Q: Are there any home remedies that can help with ingrown nails?

A: While home remedies can provide temporary relief, they may not eliminate the underlying cause. It is best to consult with a healthcare provider for proper treatment.

Q: Can an ingrown nail lead to other complications?

A: If left untreated, an ingrown nail can lead to a more serious infection that may require medical intervention. In rare cases, it can even lead to an underlying bone infection called osteomyelitis.

Q: How can I prevent ingrown nails?

A: To prevent ingrown nails, it is recommended to cut your nails straight across, avoid cutting them too short, wear properly fitting shoes, and maintain good foot hygiene.

Q: Are there any risks associated with treating an ingrown nail?

A: There is a risk of infection if proper hygiene is not maintained during the treatment process. It is important to ensure our content is accurate and consult with a healthcare provider for specific advice.