Does pressing a cold sore with your fingernail stop it growing?

Now this is a bit weird but it’s something I do to every cold sore I get when they’re at the slight swelling not quite blister stage. As well as hitting them with zovirax, tea tree, bergamot oil and taking Llysine tablets I have noticed that I press a fingernail right into the heart of the tingling sore.
Digging your finger nail into cold sore tingle
I think I’ve always done this but I’m not sure why it helps. Does anyone else do this?

It’s almost like it’s bubbling away under the surface of my lip and is desperate to break the surface but by applying gentle pressure with my fingernail I’m pushing it back down the nerve endings.

I have no idea whether there is any reason why this would help but I’ve had two threatened cold sore attacks recently and neither have come to anything. I also find an ice block or ice pack applied to the swelling area seems to help alleviate the pain and send that cold sore packing.

Has anyone else tried repeatedly stabbing or pressing their tingling lip to send a cold sore packing?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. I just got a cold sore and my Dad mentioned that he pushes on the spot where he feels tingling and it goes away. I will try that next time I feel a cold sore coming on.

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