Cold sore or Pimple: The Difference Between Them

Despite the fact that cold sores and pimples present with a similar appearance, they do have several clear differences.  They may both be uncomfortable, and several people will confuse the two, but the causes and treatments vary dramatically.  In order to effectively treat cold sores and pimples, it is important to be aware of these differences and how they impact the condition.

If you do not understand the difference, it is possible that you can exacerbate the symptoms instead of removing them.  This article will provide information on the variations between pimples and cold sores.


The Cold Sore
• What Is A Cold Sore?

Cold sore or Pimple
A cold sore, also known as a fever blister, is a small fluid-filled blister that will typically appear at the edge of the bottom lip.  It is common for the blisters to form in clusters and once the blister pops it will form a crust around the lip.  Of course, there are symptoms that occur before a cold sore appears which can indicate the potential cold sore appearing.  The signs of a potential cold sore include feelings of itching, tingling, and burning along the area with redness before the blister appears.

• What Is The Cause Of A Cold Sore?
The cold sore is most likely caused by a viral infection known as the herpes simplex virus or HSV.  Currently, medical research has identified two strains of the herpes simplex virus: the HSV-1 strain and the HSV-2 strain.  Cold sores are associated with both of the strains but the location of the sore differs according to the virus; the HSV-1 is typically linked to oral cold sores, while the HSV-2 is linked to genital sores.

The herpes simplex virus is a highly contagious viral infection and can spread easily from person to person.  It is possible to transfer the viral strains by sharing different utensils, toiletries, kissing, or engaging in sexual activities.  It should be noted that it is possible to spread the virus even without experiencing symptoms; however, cold sores are more contagious when the cold sore is visible.

• What Treatments Are Used For Cold Sores?
Cold sores will often go away within a few weeks of presenting themselves, so it is not always necessary to use a treatment.  If, however, you wish to speed up the recovery process it is possible to use antiviral medications.  The medication can be prescribed by doctors and are available in tablet or cream forms.  The tablets typically help in shortening the outbreak time, whereas the creams reduce the severity of symptoms.

The Pimple

• What Is A Pimple?
A pimple is an uncomfortable and tender small bump presenting with a black tip, a white tip, or no tip at all.  The white-tipped pimples are formed when the follicle walls expand; however, the black-tipped pimples are caused by bacteria in the pores being exposed to air.  A pimple can appear on the edge of a person’s lips, but they will often be seen on the oiler areas of the face such as the forehead.  The pimple can also be found on other areas of the body.

• What Is The Cause Of A Pimple?
Pimples develop as a result of hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells or sebum/oil.  The sebum or oil travels along the hair follicles to assist with adding moisture to the hair and skin.  However, when the sebum excess and dead skin cells accumulate, they begin to clog in the pore and bacteria starts to grow; therefore, resulting in a pimple.

• What Treatments Are Used For Pimples?
Many people consider ‘popping’ a pimple as an effective treatment for a pimple, but this can make the situation more detrimental.  By popping the pimple you will be damaging the skin below and causing the layer of skin to scar.  Furthermore, the popped area will be exposed to additional bacteria and this could result in more pimples developing.

Cold sore or Pimple
A more effective treatment to pimples is pimple prevention.  Dairy products can contribute to pimples; as well as not removing makeup at night.  Certain medications can cause pimples, so you need to be aware of this.  If you are looking for a speedy remedy, it may be useful to use over-the-counter soaps and ointments.

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