How to Drain Pus from an Ingrown Toenail: A Simple Guide

Have you ever had that annoying pain in your toe that just won’t go away? Well, chances are, you might be dealing with an ingrown toenail. It’s a common problem that many of us face, especially when we neglect our foot health. But fret not, because today I’m going to show you a simple and effective way to deal with it. I’ll talk about soaking your toe, how to relieve the pain, and most importantly, how to drain pus from an ingrown toenail. 

Soaking Your Ingrown Toe

The first step in dealing with an ingrown toenail is to give it a nice, soothing soak. This might sound like a spa day for your toe, but it’s actually an essential part of the healing process. So, how do we do it?

Gather Your Supplies: You’ll need a basin or a container big enough to comfortably fit your foot, warm water, and some soap. Nothing fancy, just some common items from around the house.

Fill ‘Er Up: Fill the basin with warm water, but don’t make it scalding hot – just a nice, warm temperature as you’d use for a relaxing bath.

Add a Dash of Soap: Put a squirt of soap in the water. Any mild, everyday soap will do the trick.

Soak Away: Now, here’s the fun part. Place your foot in the warm, soapy water and relax for about 15-20 minutes. This will help soften the skin and make it easier to work with later on.

Relieving Pain and Pressure

Ingrown toenails can be a real pain, both figuratively and literally. Let’s talk about how we can ease that discomfort without making things worse.

Hands Off, Please!: I know that when something hurts, our instinct is to touch it but resist the urge to poke and prod at your ingrown toenail. Your hands might not be as clean as you think, and poking around can make the infection worse.

No Squeezing!: One thing we should avoid is trying to squeeze out pus from the infected area. This might seem like a good idea, but it can drive the infection deeper, and we don’t want that.

Over-the-counter relief: You can find some over-the-counter antibiotic ointments like Neosporin. After your soak, apply a small amount to the affected area. It can help prevent infection and provide some relief.

Draining Pus from Your Ingrown Toenail

Now comes the crucial part – draining that pesky pus. Remember, we’re keeping it simple and safe.

Prepare Your Tools: Get a small, blunt nail file. You don’t want anything sharp that could cut your toe. You can find these at most drugstores or use an emery board you might have lying around.

Gently Does It: Carefully, and I mean gently, use the blunt nail file to pull the skin away from your ingrown toenail. Don’t force it – if it’s not moving, don’t push it. We’re being very gentle here.

Direction Matters: If you notice that the pus is coming out naturally as you lift the skin, great! If not, don’t worry. We’re not forcing anything. Sometimes, just the act of pulling the skin away can relieve the pressure, and your body will take care of the rest.

Keep It Clean: After you’ve drained any pus, make sure to clean the area with warm, soapy water again. Pat it dry gently with a clean towel. We want to keep things nice and clean to prevent further infection.

Antibiotic Ointment, Again: Apply a bit more of that antibiotic ointment we talked about earlier. This will help keep the area infection-free as it heals.

Preventing Future Ingrown Toenails

Now that we’ve addressed the immediate issue, let’s chat about how to avoid these pesky ingrown toenails in the future.

Proper Toenail Trimming: Trim your toenails straight across, not curved. This simple change can reduce the chances of your nail digging into the skin.

Mind Your Footwear: Make sure your shoes fit properly and don’t squeeze your toes. Also, avoid wearing shoes that are too tight or have a narrow toe box.

Good Foot Hygiene: Keep your feet clean and dry. Fungus and bacteria love warm, damp environments, so let’s not give them a cozy home.

Regular Checks: Take a peek at your toenails from time to time. If you notice any early signs of an ingrown toenail, like redness or tenderness, address it promptly.

Seek Professional Help: If your ingrown toenail is causing severe pain, is infected, or keeps coming back, it’s time to consult a healthcare professional. They can provide more advanced treatment options.


So there you have it! Dealing with an ingrown toenail and draining pus from it doesn’t have to be a complex or intimidating task. We start with a relaxing soak, avoid poking and squeezing, and gently drain any pus if needed. Remember to keep it clean and apply some antibiotic ointment.

And let’s not forget, that prevention is key. Proper toenail care, good footwear, foot hygiene, regular checks, and seeking professional help when necessary are all part of keeping our toes happy and healthy.

Now, it’s your turn. Have you ever dealt with an ingrown toenail? What worked for you? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below. 

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