How Do You Remove A Toenail Spicule?

The discomfort and anguish of dealing with a spicule under a toenail is real. Whether it’s an ingrown toenail or a small injury, it’s crucial to treat the problem right away to avoid more problems. Inflammation and pain can result from a toenail spicule, which happens when a tiny, pointed nail pokes the skin around it.

You should need a doctor’s help if the spicule is painful or infected, but sometimes you can safely remove them from your toenail at home. Following this detailed tutorial can help you remove a toenail spicule without hurting yourself since it stresses the need for cleanliness and safety precautions.

Determine if the spicule is severe enough to need expert intervention before you try to remove it. Do not try self-removal if you are diabetic or have circulation problems; also, seek medical advice if you observe redness, swelling, or pus, which are all symptoms of infection.

By following our detailed instructions, you will be able to remove a toenail spicule safely at home, which will lead to rapid relief and the avoidance of complications. For accurate evaluation and direction, always consult a healthcare expert if you have any doubts.

How Do You Remove A Toenail Spicule? 

Careful attention to cleanliness and correct technique is necessary to remove a toenail spicule at home without infecting the patient. This is a detailed tutorial:

Materials You’ll Need

  • Warm water
  • Epsom salt (optional)
  • Cotton ball or dental floss
  • Disinfectant (hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol)
  • Tweezers
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Bandage


  • Prepare A Foot Soak Fill a basin with warm water. You can add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to help soften the nail and reduce inflammation. Soak your foot for 15-20 minutes to soften the toenail and the surrounding skin.
  • Clean the Area: Gently clean the affected toe with mild soap and water. Pat the area dry with a clean towel.
  • Use Disinfectant: Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to the affected area to disinfect it.
  • Insert Cotton Ball or Dental Floss: Carefully lift the corner of the ingrown nail using tweezers. Insert a small piece of cotton ball or dental floss between the lifted nail and the skin. This helps the nail grow above the skin rather than into it.
  • Apply Antibiotic Ointment: Put a thin layer of antibiotic ointment on the affected area to prevent infection.
  • Cover with a Bandage: Place a sterile bandage over the toe to protect it and keep it clean.
  • Repeat as Necessary: Repeat this process daily until the toenail grows out and the spicule is no longer embedded.

Important Tips

  • Avoid cutting the nail too short or rounding the edges, as this can contribute to ingrown nails.
  • Wear comfortable and breathable shoes to reduce pressure on the toes.
  • If you notice signs of infection (increased redness, swelling, or pus), consult with a healthcare professional promptly.

It is recommended that you get professional medical assistance to avoid problems if the spicule is severe, producing considerable discomfort, or if you have any preexisting health concerns.

What Causes Nail Spicule?

A nail spicule, ingrown toenail, or simply a nail spike is what happens when the tip of a toenail grows into the skin, which can cause irritation, swelling, and even infection. Spicules in the nails can form for a variety of reasons:

  • Improper Nail Trimming: Trimming toenails improperly, such as cutting them too short or rounding the edges, can encourage the nails to grow into the skin.
  • Ill-Fitting Footwear: Shoes that are too tight or narrow can exert pressure on the toes, pushing the toenails into the surrounding skin and causing ingrown nails.
  • Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing ingrown toenails.
  • Toe Trauma: Injury to the toe, such as stubbing it or dropping something heavy on it, can lead to the development of an ingrown toenail.
  • Abnormal Nail Shape: Certain individuals may have naturally curved or unusually shaped toenails, making them more prone to becoming ingrown.
  • Poor Foot Hygiene: Inadequate foot hygiene, such as not keeping the feet clean and dry, can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails.
  • Ingrown Toenail Surgery Complications: In some cases, a previous ingrown toenail surgery may result in complications, leading to the development of nail spicules.
  • Medical Conditions: Conditions like fungal infections or nail diseases can alter the shape and structure of the toenails, increasing the likelihood of them becoming ingrown.
  • Overlapping Toes: If toes overlap, the pressure between them can cause the nails to grow into the skin.
  • Heredity: There may be a hereditary component, where individuals with a family history of ingrown toenails are more prone to experiencing them.

Ingrown toenails, if left untreated, can lead to infection and other problems. Talk to a doctor or podiatrist for advice on how to prevent and cure ingrown toenails if they’re especially painful or happen frequently.

Is It OK To Dig Out An Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails can be painful, so the temptation to dig them out is understandable, but it’s usually not a good idea. Mistakes in digging out an ingrown toenail can cause infection and excruciating pain. I’ll tell you why it’s a bad idea and what to do instead:

  • Risk of Infection: If you attempt to dig out an ingrown toenail without proper sterilization and technique, you can introduce bacteria into the affected area, leading to infection. Infections can cause redness, swelling, and pus, and may require medical attention.
  • Potential Damage: Digging out an ingrown toenail with sharp objects, such as tweezers or nail clippers, can cause damage to the surrounding skin, exacerbating the problem and increasing the risk of infection.
  • Incomplete Removal: DIY attempts at removing an ingrown toenail may result in incomplete removal of the embedded nail. This can lead to recurrence and prolonged 

Instead of attempting to dig out an ingrown toenail, consider the following steps:

  • Warm Soaks: Soak your foot in warm water with Epsom salt for 15-20 minutes to help soften the nail and reduce inflammation.
  • Lift the Edge: Gently lift the edge of the ingrown nail using clean tweezers. Inserting a small piece of cotton ball or dental floss between the nail and the skin may help.
  • Antibiotic Ointment: Apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Bandage: Cover the affected area with a sterile bandage to protect it.

You should consult a doctor immediately if the ingrown toenail causes you significant discomfort, shows symptoms of infection, or does not go away. An ingrown nail can be safely and effectively removed by a podiatrist, who can also advise you on subsequent treatment choices if needed.

You should exercise caution and get professional aid if you think you need it when trying to remove an ingrown toenail from your foot at home because doing so could lead to complications.


To quickly ease pain and avoid further issues, it is crucial to pay close attention to preventative measures when dealing with a nail spicule, also known as an ingrown toenail. To implement preventative measures, it is essential to comprehend the reasons, which include incorrect nail trimming, poorly fitted shoes, hereditary variables, and trauma.

You can find relief from an ingrown toenail by following the earlier-described step-by-step procedure for safe removal at home. But remember that serious cases or ones made worse by infection can necessitate seeing a doctor.

The best way to keep ingrown toenails at bay is to take good care of your feet, wear shoes that fit well, and apply nail polish correctly. One way to maintain overall foot health and decrease the likelihood of getting nail spicules is to be proactive in addressing the underlying reasons and following appropriate treatment practices.

To make sure you get the right diagnosis and individualised treatment, it’s best to consult a healthcare expert, such as a podiatrist if your issues continue or get worse.

For more information, click the guide “spicule toenail”.

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