This is just a really quick blog post about cold sores. I keep getting asked on my original cold sore blog, “The Do’s and Don’ts of cold sores”, ‘should I pop a cold sore?’

Scabbed cold sore

A scabbed cold sore

The answer?

Is NO. Nope. Never. Just don’t do it.
Apart from it being very painful cold sores are also extremely contagious and can spread if you pick them.

I know some people do find relief from popping them but if you do, wash your hands thoroughly and remember, you could be left with scarring.

My advice?

  • Use Zovirax or Abreeva at the first sign of a tingle every hour.
  • Dab on neat tea tree oil and/or bergamot oil with a cotton wool pad before bed and again first thing
  • Drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep and avoid cold sore loving foods
  • Also take L-lysine supplement at the first sign of tingling
  • If it does develop into a nasty cold sore apply tea tree and then aloe vera to seal it in.

There are loads more cold sore tips and articles on my blog, but please, please, don’t pop them.



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website http://whatallergy.com/ and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

4 Responses to Why you should NEVER pop a cold sore

  1. Great timing on writing tis article Ruth as I have a large cold sore that’s just errupted today!!!! Clearly it’s a sign I must slow down and stop burning the candle at both ends!!!

  2. Oh no! Nightmare. Just in time for the weekend. If you have some early grey teabags hold one onto the cold sore. Sounds crazy but it dries it out quicker.

  3. Alex

    I know for a fact I have genital herpes, and I also know that I get cold sores. My issue is that I’m very acne prone. I wax my upper lip , and consequently, I get pimples. I’m still new to having the virus, so I have a hard time telling an outbreak from a pimple near my lip (which I’ve always gotten) my latest one did not tingle, but feels for sure nothing like a pimple. This being said, I’m a chronic popper…. Terrible I know, I wash my hands extermley well.

  4. Kyle

    I agree, popping your cold sore is a sure fire way to spread the virus across your lips, letaknown the rest of your body.

    Something worth mentioning though is the fact that popping also breaks the skin, which means the cold sore will actually take longer to heal!

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