pimple vs cold sore | Healthinfi


Pimple vs cold sore

Cold sore

  • Cold sores tend to show up in one area of the lower lip each time. Sometimes, they’ll show up on your upper lip.
  • Cold sores can itch, burn, or tingle.
  • Cold sores are made up of a few tiny blisters clustering together.


  • Pimples can appear anywhere on your lips or face.
  • Pimples may be painful to the touch.
  • Pimples have a single blackhead or whitehead.

How are pimples and cold sores diagnosed?

Your doctor may suspect a cold sore based on the appearance and location of the lesion. To confirm a diagnosis, they may suggest:

  • a viral culture, which involves swabbing the lesions and testing the skin cells for a virus
  • blood testing
  • a biopsy
  • A doctor can diagnose pimples by looking at your skin.

What is cold sores?

A cold sore is an inflamed blister (also termed a fever blister or oral herpes) on the lips and/or near the mouth, caused by infection with herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2).

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are tiny fluid-filled blisters that usually form in a cluster, typically at the edge of your bottom lip. Before the blisters appear, you may feel tingling, itching, or burning in the area. Eventually, the blisters will pop, form a crust, and go away in about two to four weeks.

Cold sores occur in people of all age groups. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), over 50 percent of Americans between 14 and 49 have the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The herpes simplex virus is the virus that causes cold sores.

What causes cold sores?

A cold sore is usually the result of a viral infection caused by HSV. There are two strains of this virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2.

HSV-1 is the typical cause of oral cold sores, and HSV-2 causes sores on the genitals. However, both strains can cause sores on either location if you’re exposed to them.

The herpes virus is very contagious and it spreads easily through skin-to-skin contact. Actions that can lead to the spread of the virus include:

  • kissing
  • oral sex
  • sharing razors
  • sharing towels
  • sharing eating utensils
  • sharing beverages
  • sharing makeup or lip balm

If you have the virus, you can spread it even when you’re not having symptoms. The virus is much more contagious during an outbreak or when a cold sore is visible, however.


Not everyone who carries HSV-1 gets cold sores regularly. You may only get one after your initial infection, but the virus still remains inactive and hidden in your body forever. Other people experience regular outbreaks of cold sores that may be triggered by the following:

  • illnesses, such as a cold or the flu
  • fever
  • stress
  • menstruation, due to hormonal changes
  • exposure to heat, cold, or dryness
  • the skin injury or breaks in the skin
  • dehydration
  • poor diet
  • lack of sleep and fatigue
  • an immune system deficiency

Cold sores treated

Cold sores can’t be cured, but they’ll generally go away without treatment in about two to four weeks. However, there are some ways to speed up the healing process.

Antiviral medications

Your doctor can prescribe antiviral medications. You can take these medications in pill form, or you can use a cream or ointment version. Some are also available over the counter. Medications in pill form help to shorten the outbreak time. Creams and ointments help reduce the severity of symptoms.

Antiviral pills include:

  • acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Valtrex
  • Ointments used to reduce the symptoms of cold sores include:
  • acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • docosanol (Abreva)
  • penciclovir (Denavir)
  • Some products, like Abreva, are available without prescription. Shop for Abreva now.
  • At-home treatments
  • Treatments you can try at home include:
  • using a cold compress
  • keeping your lips protected from the sun
  • applying an over-the-counter (OTC) cream for pain relief
  • Choose an OTC cream with lidocaine or benzocaine. Shop for lidocaine and benzocaine creams.
  • Alternative remedies

Some studies suggest that alternative therapies with antiviral components may also speed up the healing process. These include:

  • lemon balm
  • aloe vera
  • licorice
  • zinc

Consult your doctor to see whether alternative therapies are right for you, and for dosing recommendations.

When you’re ready, shop for lemon balm products, aloe vera, licorice root, and zinc creams to complement your cold sore treatment.

cold sores prevent

To prevent a cold sore, avoid skin-to-skin contact with people, especially those with visible blisters. You can also protect yourself by refraining from sharing personal items with others. This includes eating utensils, lip balm, and drinking glasses. You should also wash your hands frequently, and make an effort not to touch your face with your hands.

To prevent cold sores in a baby, ask people not to kiss your baby on the face.

What Is pimple?

A pimple is usually a small, firm inflamed spot on the skin and has many other names such as zit, bleb, boil, carbuncle, and others. Some pimples may become large. A pimple is an inflamed area of skin with pus formation in the center, resulting from a bacterial infection of the oil gland that produces sebum.

  • A pimple is a tender, small red bump that can have a white tip, a black tip, or no tip at all.
  • They can form on your face, including the edge of your lips. But pimples can also from anywhere on the body, including your neck, breasts, legs, or even in your ear.
  • If your skin is repeatedly affected by pimples, you may have acne.

Pimples causes

Pimples are caused by hair follicles getting clogged with dead skin cells or oil. This oil is also known as sebum. Sebum travels through hair follicles to help add moisture to your skin and hair. When extra sebum and dead skin cells build up, they block the pore and bacteria begins to grow. This results in a pimple.

A whitehead pimple forms when the follicle wall swells, and a blackhead pimple forms when the bacteria in the clogged pores is exposed to air.

Pimples are most common in teenagers and young adults, but they can also occur in babies and older adults.

  • Certain things can make your pimples worse:
  • If acne runs in your family, you may be more likely to have pimples.
  • Not removing makeup properly at night can cause pores to clog.
  • Dairy products may trigger acne. Chocolate and carbohydrates may also be triggers.
  • Medications, such as corticosteroids, can make pimples worse.
  • Hormonal changes during puberty can contribute to pimples.
  • Pimples in women can be linked to hormonal changes that happen during your menstrual cycle, while pregnant, or during menopause.
  • Stress can contribute to pimples.

Treated pimples

Your doctor will decide the best treatment based on the location and the severity of your pimples. Mild to moderate acne can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) soaps and creams and regular home care.

  • Treatment tips
  • Wash your face at least twice per day with mild soap.
  • Wash your hair when it feels oily. If long, greasy hair touches your face, it can contribute to pimples.
  • Use oil-free sunscreen to help avoid clogging your pores.
  • Remove makeup before bed.
  • Avoid makeup or other beauty products that are greasy. Go for water-based products instead.
  • Try tea tree oil. It’s available as a gel or wash and might help to reduce pimples.
  • Look for creams and lotions made with zinc, which may also help cut down on pimples.

If your acne is severe, you may want to see a dermatologist who can prescribe stronger creams or prescription medications.

  • Buy some OTC products now:
  • oil-free sunscreen
  • tea tree oil
  • zinc lotions
  • Alternative remedies

Alternative therapies with antibacterial properties may also fight bacteria on the skin and help remedy a pimple. Studies have shown that these include:

  • green tea lotions and creams
  • omega-3 fatty acids, or fish oil
  • zinc supplements
  • Shop for green tea lotions, green tea creams, and supplements of omega-3 and zinc.

Prevent pimples

Keeping your face clear of oil, dirt, and bacteria can prevent acne. Here’s what you can do to care for your skin:

Wash your face at least twice a day to remove makeup, oil, and dirt. Cleanse in the morning, at night, and after workouts.

  • Don’t touch your face with your hands.
  • Choose oil-free makeup.
  • Keep your hair off your face.
  • Regularly clean your makeup brushes.

If you deal with frequent breakouts, continuing treatment after your skin clears may prevent future pimples. Options include OTC treatments, especially face acids. Look for ingredients such as:

  • benzoyl peroxide, which kills the bacteria that causes pimples
  • salicylic acid, which stops pores from clogging
  • lactic acid and glycolic acid, which remove the dead skin cells that can block pores
  • sulfur, which removes dead skin cells

Shop for products containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, and sulfur.

Is it possible to prevent pimples and cold sores?

To reduce the chance of developing pimples, dermatologists suggest that you wash your face twice a day with warm water using a mild cleanser. Do not scrub the skin hard. If you use makeup, it should be removed every day before going to bed.

For some individuals (for example, teenagers), use of benzoyl peroxide-containing medication with a fairly regular basis may be required to help prevent pimple formation. For those individuals who have severe problems with pimple formation, the use of antibiotics may be warranted.

To reduce the chance of getting cold sores, individuals need to avoid sharing items such as utensils, towels, and other items. Individuals should avoid person-to-person contact (for example, kissing or other physical contact) to reduce and/or prevent the transfer of the viruses that cause cold sores. In addition, people with cold sores can help stop the spread by avoiding touching the cold sore and/or by washing their hands frequently.

A Word from Very well

For both cold sores and pimples, the best treatment is simply time. They will eventually go away, but it can take several days to a few weeks to fully heal.

Of course if you’re not quite sure exactly what is happening on your skin, or if the lesion isn’t healing or is getting worse, you should call your doctor.

With a simple exam, your doctor can tell you whether you have a cold sore, pimple, or something entirely different. Even better, your doctor can help you treat that pesky thing so you’ll be well on your way to healing.

Signs and Symptoms

According to a November 2010 American Family Physician article, approximately 60 percent of people experience burning, tingling, itchiness or pain in the location where a cold sore is about to erupt — usually within 6 to 48 hours.

The cold sore itself appears as a cluster of tiny, painful, fluid-filled blisters that break open and ooze before crusting over and healing in 7 to 10 days. Cold sores usually occur on your lips or around your mouth. Factors that might contribute to the eruption of a cold sore include stress, fatigue and sun exposure, among others.

Acne pustules typically develop singly rather than in close clusters, though you typically have several pimples at once. You’re also likely to have some blackheads and whiteheads at the same time as pustules in various stages of development and healing.

While pustules are usually tender, they are typically less painful than cold sores. Other signs and symptoms that help differentiate pimples from cold sores include:

  • Burning and tingling do not typically occur leading up to the eruption of a pimple.
  • Pimples are pus-filled rather than filled with clear fluid.
  • The cycle of spontaneous oozing and crusting does not occur with pimples.

How to get rid of pimple on lip

  • Hot Or Cold Compress

Ice reduces swelling and constricts the oil glands in your skin. As a result, the excess oil and bacteria are flushed out from the inflamed glands. The hot compress works similarly by reducing the swelling and increasing the blood flow to the affected site

  • Castor Oil For Lip Pimples

Castor oil cleanses and unclogs your pores by absorbing the impurities present in it. Its antibacterial properties get rid of the acne-causing bacteria. All the essential oils recommended in this remedy also possess antibacterial properties and can speed up the healing process of the

  • Benzoyl Peroxide For Lip Pimples

Ask any medical practitioner what the ideal treatment for acne is, and they would say benzoyl peroxide. This is because it is considered highly effective in treating acne. Benzoyl peroxide treats acne by primarily unclogging the skin pores. It also kills the bacteria responsible for acne and other cystic skin lesions.

  • Lemon Juice For Lip Pimples

This is one of the most common methods of treating acne, no matter where it is present. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which renders the juice its antibacterial properties . These help in eliminating the bacteria that cause acne. Lemon juice also possesses astringent properties that constrict the body tissues and expel the excess oil from the skin

  • Turmeric Paste For Lip Pimples

Turmeric’s antimicrobial and healing properties will get rid of your pimple in no time, without leaving any scar behind

  • Honey For Lip Pimples

Honey can effectively exert bactericidal effects on different strains of bacteria. Its low pH will make the atmosphere unsuitable for the bacteria and also dry out your pimple

  • Tomato For Lip Pimples

Tomato contains organic acids that have antimicrobial properties (12). Its vitamin C content will help in repairing the damaged skin cells at the affected site

  • Diluted Tea Tree Oil For Lip Pimples

Tea tree oil and acne treatment are synonymous in the skin care industry. Its high potency in killing the pimple-causing bacteria is what makes it a go-to remedy for pimples

  • Toothpaste For Lip Pimples

Toothpastes contain antibacterial agents that kill the acne-causing bacteria. They also contain hydrogen peroxide and baking soda that can help to dry out the pimple and heal it faster. Treating pimples on the lip line is rather simple with the usage of home remedies. In just a day or two, you will be able to notice the difference. While using the remedies is an easy option, some tips should be kept in mind to prevent such pimples from developing in the future on your lips and around your mouth. Find these below.

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