Nail bed infections are usually harmless, but extremely painful. Here, home remedies often help faster than the chemical club, especially if you start using them in good time.
The cause of nail bed inflammation is an injury to the nail bed, no matter how small. Bacteria or fungi can penetrate here, which then lead to inflammation with redness, swelling, pain and pus. A weakened immune system or the existence of a chronic illness such as diabetes or neurodermatitis can promote the development of nail bed inflammation. However, women who have an exaggerated and wrong manicure or pedicure are often affected.
Already at the first signs of inflammation, home remedies should begin when the nail bed becomes inflamed. The earlier, the better or faster the healing will succeed.
In the following home remedies, "baths" are prepared to bathe the affected fingers or toes in them. No matter which recipe is used, it is always recommended to apply a calendula cream to the affected skin after bathing. This has an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and accelerates the healing process.
In general, a very easy to use method is to immerse the affected finger in hot water for as long as you can stand it, and then to type it in again and again. The application can be repeated several times a day.
The core soap bath is probably the oldest and best known home remedy for inflammation of the nail bed. A bath is prepared from curd soap flakes and hot water, in which the affected finger or toe is bathed three times a day for at least ten minutes.
Chamomile has long been known for its anti-inflammatory effects. A tablespoon full of chamomile flowers is poured with 200 ml of boiling water. After a brewing period of at least ten minutes, you can strain and use the broth for a nail bath (three times a day, for at least ten minutes).
Rosemary is astringent, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal. For a rosemary bath, a teaspoon of rosemary is brewed with a quarter liter of boiling water. Strain is taken after about ten minutes. Now the finger or toe can be bathed in it, ideally twice a day for about ten minutes.
A six percent salt solution is used for a salt bath (6 g Himalayan or sea salt to 100 ml warm water). As with the other recipes, bathing should take at least ten minutes.
Oak bark bath
For this home remedy, two teaspoons of oak bark are boiled with 200 ml of cold water for about five minutes, then strained and then used as a "bath" for the inflamed finger or toe.
The well-known Swedish bitter has now become an all-round home remedy. It is used not only internally but also externally and serves as a bath for nail bed infections. The bitter substances it contains have an astringent, anti-inflammatory and healing effect.
This recipe is also very easy to make: a handful of dried marigold flowers are brewed with a quarter liter of boiling water. The whole thing then has to take another ten minutes and there is an excellent home remedy for nail bed infections. Marigold flowers are not only visually a feast for the eyes, they work with inflammation, even if they are already purulent.
Honey and tea tree oil
A teaspoonful of honey is mixed with five drops of tea tree oil and then added with warm water, is also suitable as a nail bath. The honey serves as an emulsifier here, but also has a healing effect. Twice a day, fingers or toes are bathed in it for about ten minutes.
Ointments and pastes
Of course, ready-to-use ointments for nail bed inflammation can be purchased in the pharmacy, for example the so-called green abscess ointment, which is definitely worth a try. But ointments and pastes that can be easily made at home are also recommended.
Healing earth paste
A home-made healing earth paste is a recommended home remedy for nail bed inflammation. Microfine healing earth is mixed with a little warm water to a porridge, which is then applied to the affected area and fixed with a gauze bandage or similar. It is best to repeat this envelope twice a day. The healing earth can also be enriched with a few drops of tea tree oil - this supports the effect.
Horseradish and honey
For this home remedy for nail bed infections, nine parts of freshly grated horseradish are mixed with one part of honey and applied as a paste to the affected areas three times a day. The contact time is a maximum of ten minutes, then rinse off and care for with marigold ointment. If skin irritation occurs, treatment should be stopped immediately.
Conditions with pus
If the nail bed inflammation is already purulent, the following home remedies will help.
A layer is made from crushed flaxseed as follows: Bring the crushed flaxseed to the boil with water and then wrap the hot, tough porridge in some gauze. The whole thing is put on the purulent place. As soon as the pus drains off, you can then bathe in a little chamomile broth (see Helping Baths).
Marigold tincture also has a disinfecting effect. This is diluted with boiled water in a ratio of 1:10, so that a swab is soaked and the purulent spots are dabbed with it several times a day.
Schüssler salts can also help with nail bed inflammation. The salts No. 1 Calcium fluoratum and No. 11 Silicea are recommended here. If pus is already flowing, healing is additionally supported with salt No. 12 Calcium fluoratum. The aforementioned Schüssler salts are taken and simultaneously applied to the affected areas as a paste.
The following tips are used to prevent this: Gloves are best worn when washing, cleaning or rinsing, as detergents and, above all, aggressive washing substances can damage the cuticles. During the manicure, the cuticle must not be cut, but only pushed back with a stick - but only if there is no inflammation. Be careful when using scissors and files.
It is recommended to avoid nail polish and avoid tight shoes. Splinters or chisels that have penetrated are best removed with sterile tweezers.
Cracked skin can tear faster. Regular creaming can help here. Toenails should be cut regularly so that they cannot wax in.
Diabetics, who are usually insensitive to pain, are best looked at regularly by a relative's fingers and toes in order to be able to react in time to an infection. Diabetics cannot always perform manicures and pedicures themselves. Relatives or specialist staff are required here.
If, despite all preventive measures, nail bed inflammation occurs, it should be treated as soon as possible with the home remedies mentioned. If the symptoms do not improve after a few days, see a doctor. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Susanne Waschke, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Martin Röcken, Martin Schaller et al .: Pocket Atlas Dermatology: Basics, Diagnostics, Clinic, Thieme; Edition: 1 (October 20, 2010)
- Ben-Erik van Wyk, Coralie Wink, Michael Wink: Handbook of Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated Guide, Scientific Publishing Company, 2003
- Wolf-Ingo Worret, Wolfgang Gehring (ed.), Cosmetic Dermatology, Springer Verlag, 2013
- Rosina Sonnenschmidt: The new Schüßler medicine cabinet with 36 healing salts: From A-Z, Narayana; Edition: 2nd edition (December 1, 2013)
- Wolfgang Raab: Nail Diseases in Dermatological Practice, Springer; Edition: 2012 (December 10, 2011)