Which Is The Best Nail Softener?

One of the most common causes of ingrown nails is wearing wrong-sized shoes. Too small footwear is especially bad. It exerts pressure on the toes, causing the nail to grow inward. Poor foot hygiene, incorrect pedicure procedures and foot conditions such as over-pronation and bunions can also cause ingrown tails.

Whatever the cause, all ingrown nails have one common thing; discomfort and plenty of it. An ingrown tail presses into the soft skin under your nail and can even break it after some time. You may experience mild redness and pain in the beginning which progresses to swelling and blistering.

In serious cases, your toe could get infected causing even more problems. The affected area may start producing pus.

How a nail softener helps

In most cases there is no need to see a doctor for treatment. Wearing the right shoes and treating your foot with various home remedies can help. One other highly effective home solution is using a nail softener.

A nail softener does exactly that; it softens hard nails. This relieves the pressure and pain on your skin.

And it’s not just great for treating ingrown toe nails; it can also help with many other foot conditions including bunions and calluses. It’s also highly beneficial for diabetics. It reduces the risk of serious infections.

Even if you have none of these issues, you can use a nail softener to soften your sharp and hard nails. If not for yourself, at least do it to make sure you don’t gouge someone’s skin by accident.

Here are the best nail softeners we found online.


1. Gehwol Nail Softener 15ml

This is one of the most popular nail softeners because of how well and quickly it works. With just a single application most users say they experience quick pain and swelling relief.

Gehwol softens the nail and the skin under the nail, making it easier and less painful to remove any ingrown tail. It also contains Bisabolol, a type of natural alcohol, which helps treat redness and irritation.

To use the softener, apply it onto high-pressure points on your toes twice daily until the nail softens and pressure is relieved.

If you have very hard nails that are hard to trim, you can also apply Gehwol nail softener. After just 10 minutes, your nails will have softened enough for trimming with a nail cutter. This is especially beneficial for the elderly whose nails tend to get tough and hard to manage.

What we like about it:

  • Quick-acting. Provides immediate relief after application.
  • Reduces redness and irritation.
  • With regular application, it completely prevents ingrown toe nails.

2. Carnation 14ml Toenail Softening Lotion

The Carnation nail softening lotion is not as fast acting as Gehwol but it’s just as effective. You just need to apply it for a few more days to see results.

It softens hard and sharp toenails. If you have ingrown nails, the lotion will relieve the pressure and pain from the nail. You’ll be able to walk and stand more comfortably. Like Gehwol, you can also use it to soften hard nails before trimming them or just to keep your nails soft.

It comes with an applicator to help you apply the lotion across your nail. Apply twice a day until you see results. You can also keep using it forever to keep your nails looking good and prevent in-growth.

Note that the lotion is not meant for application on open skin. If you already have a wound or infection from an ingrown tail, this softener could cause irritation.

What we like about it:

  • Helps with calluses and ingrown nails.
  • Reduces swelling and pain.
  • Easy to use.

3. Pedosan Nail Fix Twin Pack

This is a twin pack so it will last longer. It’s perfect if you want to treat ingrown toenails and keep them from recurring.

Nail Fix has been formulated by orthopaedic surgeons in Switzerland specifically for softening tough nails and relieving pain from ingrown nails. With only one application – just a single drop on the affected area – the nail softens enough that you can comfortably cut away the ingrown part.

This softener is made from all-natural ingredients including glycerine, water and camphor.

What we like about it:

  • Double pack for longer lasting application
  • Natural ingredients
  • Fast acting.

4. Medosan Nail Fix Toenail Softener, 10ml

This is the same nail softener as the one above – the Pedosan nail fix. The only difference is that it comes in a single pack, hence it’s cheaper. It’s ideal if you want to first try it out before making it a regular treatment.

It contains the same natural ingredients and delivers the same nail-softening benefits. It protects your toes from swelling and infection caused by ingrown nails.

What we like about it:

  • Great price
  • Natural ingredients
  • Fast acting.

5. Skinapeel Toe Nail Softener & Ingrowing Toenail Prevention Oil 15ml

This softener uses glycerine and other oils to soften nails and treat ingrown nails. To use it, you brush the oil on your affected nails once or twice a day. The oils are absorbed by the nail and the skin beneath. They get softer, thus reliving pain and swelling from an ingrown nail.

The ingredients are non-irritating so you can use it for as long as you want. Even after you have treated any current in-growth, it’s a good idea to keep applying it to prevent recurrence. It also keeps your nails soft making them much easier to maintain. It also keeps them looking beautiful and well-shaped.

This oil nail softener doesn’t just soften nails; it also contains ingredients to nourish your cuticles. Every time you do a pedicure, apply some of the oil on the cuticles. They’ll get softer, smoother and more supple.

If you are always ashamed of being in open shoes or barefoot because of how your nails look, try Skinapeel.

What we like about it:

  • Softens nails and nourishes cuticles.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Fast acting.

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