Do I Have a Pimple or a Cold Sore?

If you’ve got a small red bump on your face, you may be wondering if it’s a pimple or a cold sore. There is a very big difference between the two.

Both cold sores and pimples can appear near to the mouth and they can look quite similar in their early phases, which can cause confusion. However, they will feel very totally different and they will also change in appearance as they develop.

Pimples are red in colour and will develop a white cap a few days after they first appear. They are brought on by a blockage in a skin pore. They are especially frequent in teenagers, because of to hormonal shifts which result in oily skin.

Cold sores on the other hand, have a more blister like appearance and are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Before a sore apears, you will often feel a tingle like ache under the skin where it will eventually show up.

This tingle is a clear symptom that you have a cold sore and not a pimple.

Pimples can be sore, but they are not as painful as sores. The skin around a sore will normally feel itchy and tingling in the early stages. The blister will then crack and ooze before scabbing, which is a much more painful process.

Cold sores usually pop up on the lips, chin and around the mouth. They can also breakout around the nostrils and inside the mouth, but this is much rarer. They can sometimes also appear on the cheeks.

Because pimples are brought on by a skin pore blockage, they can develop anywhere that hair follicles are present. For this reason pimples can’t appear on your lips, so if you have a red bump on your lips it is more than likely a cold sore.

The bad news is that anyone can suffer from cold sores and pimples. They are very common amongst a good deal of the population. Teens are the worst sufferers of pimples. During adolesence certain hormonal shifts take place and the result is often oily skin and pimples.

Cold sores are triggered by the herpes simplex virus and are extremely transmittable. The virus is easily transferred through kissing, skin to skin contact, and through sharing items like utensils, cups, towels and make-up.

Once you have contracted the HSV-1 virus, it will remain in your body for life. It lies dormant in your system until activated by a trigger.

But even if you have the HSV-1 virus, you may never suffer from a breakout. Some statistics show that as few as 10% of people carrying the virus will suffer from outbreaks.

The one simple rule to remember is don’t touch it! This is same for both pimples and sores. Squeezing pimples can force the infection in the skin pore deeper, making it more serious. And popping acne can bring about scarring, as well as spreading the infection to nearby areas of the skin. There are a range of treatments available at supermarkets and chemists, as well as prescription medicines for those with more serious acne.

We’ve mentioned before that the HSV virus is highly contagious, and touching a cold sore is the easiest way to spread it to other parts of your face and body.