Cold Sore or Pimple

Waking up in the morning to notice a zit on your face or a small bump under your lips (Cold Sore or Pimple), can be the most dreadful scene of the day! Did you know, pimples and cold sores are two different problems that require different treatments? Let us understand in detail about these ugly looking blemishes in this article.

Cold Sore vs. Pimple

Cold sore VS Pimple

A cold sore is a tiny blister that can contagiously spread from one person to another, due to the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1). Pimples do not contagiously spread. Pimples are an outcome due to clogging of hair follicles. Cold sores or pimples can appear anywhere on the edge of your lip to a face or body respectively. The occurrence of these pimples intensifies when exposed to much moisture, which in turn makes the skin oily. Further clogging the pores and causing a small bump on one’s face/ body which eventually leads to a dreadful looking Pimple.

Cold sores and pimples may seem to be similar in numerous ways, but they dissimilar too. No matter the age or gender, cold sores or pimples know no rules.

So, here below are some significant aspects between the two that will help you realize the differences between a cold sore or pimple.

Difference Between Cold Sore And pimple

Irrespective of your gender and age, pimples or cold sore, both may affect your skin any given time. Read about these differences and the method to treat them.

DissimilaritiesCold SorePimple
SignsTingling, itching or a burning sensation is the common sign of cold sore. With time it forms a bump and then a scab.A pimple may not always cause any pain or a burning sensation before its appearance. Pimples do not open up on its own.
Who are Affected?Since, this is a virus, cold sores can happen to anybody, but mostly it occurs on small children.Active hormonal changes lead to development of pimple. This is noticeable in teenagers.
LocationOccurs on the lips or any place around the mouth, with little possibility near the nostrils.Pimples appear on any part of your body where you have hair, and may occur on your lips.
Is it Painful?Very painful, itchy (usually before the appearance) and difficult to manage.Less painful and no itchiness before or after the appearance.
IndicationsCold sore, before bursting leaves a yellow scab and causes oozing of a pus.Pimple needs to be squeezed or wait for it to dry out on its own. Pus may occur, only when the pimple is infected.

Treatment for Cold Sore Or Pimple

Cold Sore can be treated in numerous ways. Let’s begin with…

  1. Cold Sore – Home Remedies: 
  • Cold sores mainly don’t need any proper treatment. They may get cured easily in a couple of days. However, if your pain is unbearable, you may follow certain home remedies to cure the cold sore.
  • Cold Compress is the best way to get rid of cold sores. It may not reduce or diminish the sore completely, but it may reduce the burning or the itching sensation and the discomfort caused.
  • Over the counter (OTC) medicines can ease down the effect of the cold sore. Abreva is one such OTC that can help soothe down the effect.

2. Cold Sore – Medicines

The market is full of effective medicines which successfully help in treating cold sores. Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, Famciclovir, and Penciclovir etc. are some prominent medicines available in the market that require the consent of a doctor for treating cold sores.

Cold sores may need special medical attention, pimples on the other hand often get healed by themselves.

1. Pimple Antidote – Home Remedies

  • Pimples can be treated with the use of a mild cleanser that is oil-free. This helps in opening up the pores, cleaning the oil and dust particles that may have led to development of a pimple.
  • There are numerous OTC acne lotions available in the market. It’s best when you are tested to know, which one suits you. These lotions kill the bacteria in your skin, thus treating the pimple at home. But, they can also cause irritations and flakiness in your skin.
  • Avoid oily cosmetics or sunscreen products at such times. It makes the skin oily and increases the chances of pimples.

2. Pimple treatment – Medicines

  • In order to determine how best to treat pimples, the help of a dermatologist is the best option. It is better than choosing OTC pimple creams and lotions. Oral medicines such as Retin-A, Differin, and Average along with certain antibiotics are some medicines that can reduce Pimples. But, a doctor’s prescription and consultation is the best solution before taking any medicine. Acne lotion or a gel such as Dapsone gel is another simple treatment for reduction of a pimple.
  • If you have been suffering from pimples for a long time, it is recommended to visit a dermatologist and follow the prescribed antibiotic medicines for a complete cure.
  • Applying Isotretinoin on your pimple can also help. But each medicine has side effects and so, it is best to consult a doctor.
  • It has been determined that even oral contraceptives help in treating pimples. But make sure you take advice from your dermatologist only.

When To Meet A Specialist?

It is always suggested never to treat oneself without knowing the possible effects on you. Wrong or unknown treatment can lead to permanent scars and pain. A dermatologist’s consultation is highly recommended to understand the reason behind frequent appearances of a cold sores or pimples. The doctor can treat the problem from its roots and help you heal quickly.


Images Copyright: Artem Furman

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