Cold Sore vs. Pimple: Differences and Similiarities

There are times when people mistake a cold sore for pimples. That is why it is important to know the differences between these two in order to apply the appropriate treatment. Some of the differences that should be taken note of include the following:


Cold Sore: cold sores usually appear at specific locations. Individuals infected by a cold sore virus may experience having sores or blisters on the mouth, lips or nose.

Pimple: pimples may occur almost anywhere in the body, particularly in areas where hair follicles are found. It should also be noted that pimples never develop on the lips.


Cold Sore: one of the primary cold sore causes is an infection due to HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus type 1. However, it can also be due to HSV-2 or herpes simplex virus type 2 or varicella-zoster.

Pimple: pimples are due to the production of excessive amount of oil that clogs the pores of the skin and trigger the development of pimples. It can also be due to a variety of reasons, such as hormonal imbalance, poor diet or stress.


Cold Sore: are cold sores contagious? Yes it is contagious as it is due to HSV. That means the virus can be easily transmitted by simply kissing a person infected by the virus.

Pimple: pimples are due to excessive oil and are not considered contagious.


Cold Sore: the person affected by the condition may experience cold sores or oral herpes symptoms, such as pain, burning and tingling sensation even before the sores or blisters start to appear. Once the sores surfaced, it would start forming fluid-filled blisters that will rupture after several days from where fluid oozes. This can be painful at times and should not be touched or scratched to prevent irritation.

Pimple: tingling or itching sensation will not be experienced and pimples usually go away on its own after several days.

Who is affected?

Cold Sore: any one can be affected by cold sores, but the herpes simplex virus is usually acquired during childhood or old age.

Pimples: just like cold sores, pimples can affect anyone as well, particularly those who are in their teenage years.


Cold Sore: cold sores may not require treatment as it will go away on its own. Most cold sore remedies recommended are meant for the alleviation of the symptoms of the condition.

Pimple: pimples can be treated using various medications, such as ointments, as well as natural methods and vitamin supplements. However, take note that it is still necessary to determine the underlying cause of the pimple outbreak to find a suitable treatment for it.

When comparing cold sores vs. pimple, you should know that there are some similarities between these conditions as well. As much as possible, it is necessary to avoid squeezing the sores and pimples to prevent the condition from worsening.


2 Responses so far.

  1. Donna says:

    I’m also confused about this. Good thing you explained it well. Since cold sores are contagious, it’s very important to know the differences. Thanks.

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