Cold Sore or Pimple

The appearance of a reddish lump in the vicinity of your lips, nostril or chin that you have never had before might make you debate about its nature. You might think that it is a pimple or just a cold sore. Knowing which of these you are facing is crucial because the treatment of both these types of lesions is markedly different. Here is an account of how a cold sore differs from a pimple so that diagnosing which one you are having becomes easier for you.

What Are Cold Sores?

A cold sore which is commonly called as a fever blister is a small bump on the face that is usually filled with some kind of fluid and is often found near the lips. You will find the cold sores to appear in bunches located close to each other. It takes about a week or two for the cold sore to heal on its own. However, prior to this they tend to break first, which results in the formation of a crust over them.

1. Symptoms

The development of a cold sore is a time taking process that is comprised of a few steps. The first step is an itching sensation being felt by the patient near his lips. This usually happens two days before the actual sore is going to emerge. The patient might feel the same feelings on his nose and cheek as well. The second step is the appearance of the blisters containing small amounts of fluid in them near the edges of the lips and in around the nose and cheeks. Sometimes these lesions merge which other before they burst, spilling out the fluid present in them and turning the lesion in to an open wound. A crust duly forms over this wound once the fluid flow from the blister stops. For people having cold sores for the first time, the blisters are usually accompanied with other symptoms as well which includes swelling of the lymph nodes, headache, a sharp ache in the muscles, soreness of throat and fever.


2. Causes

The herpes simplex virus or HSV is the main reason behind the appearance of the cold sores. Its two strands namely HSV-1 and HSV-2 are usually considered the culprits behind cold sores and genital herpes respectively. However, both strands of this virus can result in the formation of lesions either on the face or the genitals. The herpes simplex virus is contagious in nature and is usually contracted from a person who is currently infected with it. Using the same towels or utensils or even kissing are factors that can aid the HSV-1 virus from travelling to one person to the other. Indulging in oral sex is another means of contracting both HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses.

3. Remedies

Two weeks is the usual time taken by a cold sore to heal if no medical treatment is sought by the patient. However, the use of homemade remedies and antiviral prescription medications such as penciclovir, acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir can hasten the recovery time period.

For more home remedies for cold sores, see

What Are Pimples?

A pimple is a kind of a condition of the skin in which the dead skin cells and oil get stuck in the hair follicles, turning them in to small reddish lesions. A pimple usually does not heal quickly and even when one disappears, another one appears in its place. This is the reason why pimples are considered quite upsetting.

1. Symptoms

The face, shoulders, chest, neck and back are the regions where the appearance of a pimple is most likely. The reason for this is that the most number of oil glands in the skin are found in these areas. A pimple usually has a reddish outlook and a tip which is white in color indicating the presence of pus. The whitish tips also mean that the hair follicles are infected and inflamed.


2. Causes

There are as many as three reasons why you might have a pimple on your skin. The first one is a bacteria build up, the second is hyperactivity of the oil glands that are responsible for the production of sebum and the third one is an irritation of the hair follicles caused by the shedding of the dead skin cells in an irregular manner. Pimples can become aggravated due to some factors as well. For instance, when a young girl or boy reaches the age of puberty, his/her sebaceous glands become hyperactive because of androgens resulting in the production of a lot of sebum. Sebum production can become heightened in pregnant women because of hormonal imbalances too. Pimples are caused by some other reasons too which include usage of drugs having some content of corticosteroids or lithium present in them. Research has shown that an increase in the level of sugar in the blood can also result in the formation of pimples as well.

3. Remedies

Severe cases of acne and pimples have been known to leave scars on the skin and cause a great deal of anxiety especially in the case of young girls. However, using treatment methods at an earlier stage can greatly diminish the chances of a pimple from forming and can also quicken its pace of recovery as well.

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