Repairing Ingrown Toenail: Best Home Treatments

Fixing an ingrown toenail is often a painful and expensive process. It used to mean several sessions of pedicures to soften and reshape the nail into its original shape. If that didn’t work, you ended up at the doctor where they would either treat the nail, or surgically remove it and allow it to regrow – also a very expensive process!

Now, thanks to modern technology and the Internet, we have several options we can use at home to fix our ingrown toenails at home! I suggest using a mix of strong moisturizers or gels to soften the nail, a toenail shaping tool to bend or file the nail, and bandages to protect it while it heals.

I’ve done a lot of research on different products available, and these by far are the most promising. You may need to use one or more of these to fix your problem, but they’re far less expensive than a pedicure or surgery – so mix and match to find the right treatment for you!

Best Treatments for Ingrown Toenails at Home Reviews

#1 Scholl’s Ingrown Toenail Pain Reliever Gel

Dr. Scholl’s is a brand we all know and trust for treating our feet, and this product is a great option for those starting the repairing process.


The pain reliever gel not only reduces pain, but it also softens the toenail enough to file or separate it from the toe.


It also comes with pads and bandages to help with the pain, and to keep the gel on the toenail long enough to soften it.

Things We Liked

  • Inexpensive option
  • Comes with bandages & pads
  • Provides pain relief

Things We Didn't Like

    • Doesn’t do anything to fix nail; just prep it
    • Doesn’t come with enough bandages & pads
    • May need other equipment to fix nail

    #2 CurveCorrect Ingrown Toenail Home Treatment

    If you are looking for a more aggressive treatment option, this one might be a good choice for you. The CurveCorrect system is a strong band that is glued to the nail to straighten it out, allowing the nail to grow in properly. The kit comes with several bands to use as your nail grows out, adhesive, removing solvent, a file, and swabs to use with the adhesive.

    I like the idea of using a kit like this to “train” the nail to grow properly, not just fix the problem at the top of the nail. If your ingrown toenails are due to over-curvature of the toenail itself, use these to correct the problem! You can also use these in conjunction with a pain relieving gel or padding to protect the nail as it grows and heals.

    Things We Liked

    • Gradual adjustment; less initial pain
    • Works in as little as 1-3 days
    • Can use to correct over-curvature
    • Use with other products

    Things We Didn't Like

      • More expensive than similar kits
      • Might need to use for extended periods

      #3 Baisidai Professional Ingrown Toe Nail Correction Tool

      I’ve seen this tool being used on YouTube more times than I should probably admit. It’s basically a vice you put on either side of the ingrown toenail, and it slowly stretches out the toenail by screwing in the pin at the top. Once the nail is straightened, you leave the vice on until the nail is dry, and it’s done! It’s oddly satisfying to watch this being done, and if used correctly will correct bent toenails almost instantly.


      The only issues I see with this device is that you have to be very careful to use it properly to prevent injury, and you will need to ensure the nail is very soft before using it. Thankfully this tool is only about $7, so you can easily spend more on a proper soaking/softening solution for the nail as well.

      Things We Liked

      • Inexpensive
      • Highly effective at straightening nail
      • Fun to use
      • Used by pedicurists and podiatrists

      Things We Didn't Like

        • Potentially dangerous
        • Could cause cracked nail or injury
        • Need to buy a soaking/softening agent

        #4 Zizzon Ingrown Toenail File and Lifter 

        Filing down ingrown toenails is almost impossible using a regular nail file. This kit comes with surgical-grade steel files that are small enough to fit under ingrown toenails, and shaped especially for this purpose. They allow you to safely lift the nail, then file away the ingrown part of the nail, which will help it grow out properly. This is a great option if your ingrown toenails aren’t too bad yet, and you can use these on any toes you have trouble filing on the sides.

        I have relatively small toenails, and would love to use these to file the sides of my toenails more easily! I also have an ingrown big toenail, and this looks like it would do the trick!

        Things We Liked

        • Surgical-grade steel
        • Safe & easy to use
        • Curved file makes filing easier
        • Can use on regular nails too

        Things We Didn't Like

          • A little pricey for a file
          • Need other products to soften/treat nail
          • Could be painful if not used properly

          Ingrown Toenails: An Overview

          Treating ingrown toenails can be tricky, and preventing them is even harder in some cases. However, understand why the happen can help us better treat them, and hopefully prevent them from happening in the future.

          What is an ingrown toenail?

          Ingrown toenails occur when the sides of the toenail curve inward and start growing in the flesh of the toe. It’s incredibly painful, and treatments can be equally painful. They most commonly happen only to the big toe, but in rare cases can happen in other toes.

          What causes ingrown toenails?

          There are several things that can cause ingrown toenails:

          • Excessively curved toenails, which is often hereditary
          • Injury to the toenail that prevents normal growth
          • Cutting toenails too short
          • Cutting or filing toenails into a curve, rather than straight across
          • Wearing shoes that pinch the big toe
          • Being overweight/obese

          How do I treat an ingrown toenail?

          You can use any of the treatment options we talked about today, especially if your toenail isn’t too badly curved and there is no injury or infection. It’s important to properly soak the feet before doing any treatment option to ensure the toenail is soft and pliable. Not soaking the toenail first could lead to breaking or splitting, which is incredibly painful and may require removing the nail.

          If your ingrown toenail is bleeding or cracking, or showing signs of an infection, see your doctor for help. When an ingrown toenail is left too long, it may require surgery to fix properly. This could be shaving or reshaping the nail and treating the infection, or in severe cases, removing the nail entirely and allowing it to grow back properly.

          Instead of waiting until it’s too late, see your doctor early, or try any of these options for preventing ingrown toenails in the first place!

          How can I prevent ingrown toenails?

          There are a few things you can do to prevent ingrown toenails, or make sure they aren’t as bad when they do reoccur (if you are genetically prone to them).

          • Cut toenails straight across, instead of curved
          • Don’t cut toenails too short – they should be even with the tip of your toe
          • Wear shoes that don’t crush the big toe
          • Wear steel-toed shoes if you are at risk of injury or trauma
          • Treat foot/toenail infections immediately
          • Wear protective covering on toes while they’re healing
          • If you have diabetes, or another condition that affects blood flow to the feet, check regularly for ingrown nails, which are commonplace and dangerous in these cases


          Ingrown toenails are incredibly painful, potentially dangerous, and if not treated early, may require surgery. However, there are several tools and products you can use at home to treat ingrown toenails before they get bad enough to need a doctor! Try out one or more of the products we talked about today, and get your toenails back in great shape!

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