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Pimples Vs Cold Sores

3 min read

Pimples are not the same thing as cold sores. Pimples are usually due to bacteria. On the other hand, cold sores are from the herpes simple virus. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between pimples and cold sores.

Pimples Or Cold Sore?

A pimple is a small pustule or papule. Pimples develop when sebaceous glands, or oil glands, become clogged and infected, leading to swollen, red lesions filled with pus. Pimples most commonly happen on the face, back, chest, and shoulders. This is because there are many sebaceous glands in these areas of skin. Cold sores are also known as the fever blisters, and they are a common viral infection. Tiny fluid filled blisters appear in clusters and it is commonly seen in people on and around the lips. Blisters are grouped together in patches. After the blister breaks, a scab forms that can be seen for several days. A cold sore can spread from one person to another person by close contact like kissing. Cold sore are caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus Type1 (HSV 1). The blisters burst and scab over with time.

How To Get Rid Of A Cold Sore

Cold sores generally disappear without treatment in two to four weeks. Several types of prescription antiviral medications may speed the healing process. Here are some examples of medications that may be used : Acyclovir, Valcyclovir, Famciclovir, Penciclovir. Acyclovir and Valcyclovir (Valtrex) come in pill form, and the others come in creams form and can be applied to the skin to reduce the sores. 

Using lip moisturizers and lip balms can help also. Protect your lips from the sun with a zinc oxide cream or lip balm with sunblock. If your lips become dry, apply a moisturizing cream.

Rest and try pain medication if needed. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers if you have a fever or if the cold sore is painful. Creams with lidocaine or benzocaine may give you some pain relief. Stress and lack of sleep may cause cold sores to heal slowly and recur more frequently. So, getting enough sleep and reducing stress is important.

How To Get Rid Of A Pimple

More various types of  pimples form when dead skin cells, oils, or bacteria block a pore. Hard pimples, such as nodules or cysts, are often deeper and more inflamed. To treat pimples at home, start with creams and ointments. Using an ice pack is a good way to reduce inflammation and pain. Ice may be very helpful for hard pimples, like nodules and cysts.

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If you have stubborn and recurrent acne, it is important to see a dermatologist. A dermatologist will closely examine your skin to see which type of pimples you are getting. Noninflammatory acne can usually be cleared up with over the counter ointments that have the active ingredients salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Inflammatory acne may need prescription medications from a dermatologist. Birth control may also help to control acne.

Pimples Vs. Cold Sores: Summary Points

Pimples can appear as a bump or blemish that's white, black or cyst-like. They occur when any of the three natural contaminants to your skin like oil, dead skin cells or bacteria like clog a skin pore, resulting in inflammation and irritation. Cold sores appear in patches and can look like red blisters. If it's a first-time outbreak, a cold sore can also come with headaches. Acne is a result of bacteria on the skin and cold sores are from the HSV 1 Virus.

Sources:

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/cold-sores-overview

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne/really-acne/overview

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cold-sores/

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