How to Tell a Cold Sore From a Pimple

Some individuals are prone to skin problems especially on the facial area. This can cause a lot of problems. Teenagers often have problems in dealing with their pimples but there are times when they mistake cold sores as pimples.


By definition, a pimple is a raised red bump on the skin. It is infected with a certain bacteria and not only that, it is also oil clogged. Pimples burst underneath your skin while the bacteria surround the affected tissue. When this spreads deeper into your skin, it is already called papule. Adolescents usually have propioibacterium acne and this makes use of sebum. Some individuals tend to have more bacteria and these are also the ones who often have lots of pimples on their face. Later on, comedone will form. This is another term for whiteheads and blackheads. When the white blood cells fight these bacteria, inflammation occurs.

It is not advisable to pop or prick pimples. There are times when the pimples are painful and so some individuals apply pressure by pricking it. But if you want to effectively treat your pimples, ask your dermatologist.

Cold Sores

What are cold sores? A cold sore is caused by a virus called herpes simplex. Direct contact with an infected individual is enough to get infected with the virus as well. Once you acquire the virus, it does not show up instantly and remains dormant for quite some time. When the virus emerges, cold sores will also begin to appear.

Before cold sores appear, the infected individual will usually feel tingling or burning sensations and after a couple of hours, the blisters will appear. Clear liquid typically oozes from the blisters and as it crusts, healing will begin.

So now it’s quite clear. Pimples are due to bacteria while the cold sores are due to a virus called herpes simplex. There are various ways to treat pimples and cold sores. Before you decide to use any treatment, consulting a doctor is the best way to combat these skin problems.

Pimples are not contagious as compared to cold sores. Even if you use the towel of someone who has lots of pimples, you won’t get the bacteria. On the other hand, when you share things with someone who is infected with the herpes simplex, you’re at risk of getting the virus as well.  

Personal hygiene plays an important role in preventing pimples and cold sores. There are certain solutions that you can use to clean your face. Before you sleep, make sure that you clean your face thoroughly to prevent clogged pores. It is advised that you have your own things like towels, utensils, etc and don’t share them with other people. Through good hygiene, you can fight infections and other skin problems.

How to tell a cold sore from a pimple? Well, now that you know the main difference between the two, you’re no longer ignorant about these skin problems. Visit your dermatologist or doctor to get accurate diagnosis; by doing so, you will know the best treatment options that you can utilize. Pimples and cold sores can affect the confidence of individuals and so you need to treat them immediately.

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