Submit your skincare questions to Dr. Agnes, CEO of Herborium and natural medicine expert
people tend to confuse acne with cold sores. However, these are two different
skin disorders. Even though, both skin conditions share certain common symptoms
they have absolutely no similarity when it comes to causes and treatments. By closely observing the symptoms, you will
be able to distinguish between the two conditions. However, when doubt remains,
a visit to your dermatologist can lead to a proper diagnosis and a
recommendation for appropriate treatment. Cold sores and acne require different
treatments, and improper treatment can slow down healing.
oil-producing glands in your skin become blocked, the area can become infected
with bacteria. Your body's immunity sends white blood cells to fight the
bacteria, which is what causes pimples. Cold sores, on the other hand, form on
the lips as a result of the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Once contracted,
the virus stays in your body permanently. However, the sores often only appear
as a result of stress or illness.
normally form around or right on the lips in the form of clusters whereas acne
can mostly be seen in the form of pimples located on the cheeks, forehead, nose,
and elsewhere on the face. People may also suffer from back acne as well.
Unlike cold sores, however, acne rarely appears on the mouth.
are painful and can appear after an illness or stressful situation. The common
symptom of cold sore is a tingling sensation in the lips and the area around
the lips which continues for a couple of days. You can go months or years
without having cold sores reappear. Cold sores are infectious and can spread
from one person to another. Acne pimples can also be painful to the touch but
are not connected to any illness. Cold sores are essentially contagious symptoms
and they take at least ten days to heal. While an individual is suffering from
cold sore, he or she should avoid sharing food with others.
are significantly larger than the cold sores. Most importantly, acne lesions
referred as pimples contain pus. Therefore unlike cold sores, acne is typically
marked by formation of pus filled pimples. However, the term acne is not just
restricted to pimples but also refers to other small raised bumps on the skin
like whiteheads and blackheads. Acne can last for months or years with frequent
breakouts if left untreated. Every person is susceptible to the herpes virus
and thus susceptible to developing cold sores. Acne is most common in
adolescents. Pregnant women and newborns have also been known to have acne
underlying cause of both the skin problems is different, there are different treatments
for acne and cold sores. Use of topical anesthetic agents like lidocaine
temporarily provides numbing effect, thereby helping to alleviate pain
associated with cold sores. Severe cases of acne may require use of oral
antibiotics. Because cold sores have been categorized as a viral infection,
best treatment for cold sores may involve use of oral antiviral such as acyclovir
and famciclovir to facilitate the healing of cold sores.
about the similarities between the two, it should be noted that squeezing cold
sore or pimple can cause oozing and pain. Therefore, it should be avoided in
both the cases. Pimples, when squeezed, can cause scarring which can be
permanent if not treated immediately. However, scarring is not seen in case of
may now know the differences and similarities, it is advisable to consult a
dermatologist for proper treatment of either of these. Lastly, note that
maintaining cleanliness and hygiene and following a balanced diet can help in
prevention of pimples, acne and cold sores.