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Difference Between Cold Sore and Pimple

acneCold Sore vs. Pimple

Herpes Simplex commonly known as cold sore is a viral condition caused by the HSV 1 (herpes simplex virus 1) and HSV 2 (herpes simplex virus 2) virus. Cold sores often surface as a result of oral herpes. On the other hand, a pimple is a condition that results from a blockage of the pores in the skin. When the oil glands connected through the skin pores get blocked due to dirt, the sedum or the oily substance clogs the skin pores which gives rise to an outbreak of pimples. A pimple is also termed as a papule or pustule. Pimples develop from infected whiteheads and blackheads. A severe spread of pimple can lead to acne.

Often people tend to confuse between cold sore and pimple, but the truth is these are two completely different conditions of the skin caused due to different stimuli. Cold sore, more often than not, occurs surrounding the lips or at times directly on the lips. Worsened conditions of cold sore can even infect the nostrils, chin and the fingers. On the contrary pimples generally occur on the face, chin, forehead, and nose and chin region.

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. There on red blisters emerge which are the cold sore. On the other hand, pimples are skin lesions or small inflammations appearing on the skin. These appear as small bumpy raised heads that are the result of an infected or clogged skin pore. These too appear as red blisters but are filled with puss.

Cold sore is essentially a contagious symptom and takes at least ten days to heal. While an individual is suffering from cold sore, he or she should avoid sharing food with others. On the other hand, pimples are not contagious but pimples do take some time before clearing of completely.

The herpes simplex virus is solely responsible for cold sore whereas other than clogged pores, pimples can occur from imbalanced diet, deficiency of viruses, stress and other hormonal problems.


1)Cold sore is a viral condition, an infection disorder caused by herpes simplex virus. Pimple is an infected whitehead or blackhead resulting from clogged skin pore, imbalanced diet, hormonal imbalance and stress.
2)Cold sore occurs around and on the lips, chin, nostrils and fingers. Whereas pimples appear on the cheeks, forehead and chin.
3)Cold sore is contagious but goes away in about ten days. Pimples are not contagious but take time in healing.

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1 Comment

  1. yes, i have small bumps that do have puss like acne, but are in and around my nostrils like herpes, i will admit i touch my face A LOT.. and have had nasal infections before, but not like this, and i got them after i went down on my girlfriend… what do you think?? :O should i be worried

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