Though they look similar, cold sores and pimples are two separate entities and vary greatly. It is hence, important to understand the difference between the two so that you don’t mis-diagnose the condition and confuse the treatments for both.
What Do Cold Sores Look Like?
Cold sores appear near the mouth, nose and inside the nostrils. These are caused by the herpes simplex virus. Pimples on the other hand, are caused by a blockage in the skin pores and though pimples also appear near the mouth, nose and chin, they generally vary in appearance and cause less physical discomforts. They do not form clusters like cold sores do, but instead, form pus heads.
Cold sores appear more like blisters and often come with a warning sign. Just before you are about to develop a cold sore, you will feel a distinct tingling sensation under the skin. This is one of the major differentiators between pimples and cold sores. What is to be understood is that a cold sore is contagious and spreads rapidly through physical contact with another person and can also infect another person through used towels, kitchen utensils and furniture.
Who Can Develop A Cold Sore?
Though major pimple breakouts are experienced by teenagers, cold sores can happen to children as young as 4 years old, but anybody is at a risk of developing a cold sore. Since adults are most likely to kiss children or share utensils or other things with them, children are at a higher risk of developing cold sores than most other people. Once a person is infected with the herpes simplex virus, the cold sore virus stays with you for life. The symptoms for the cold sore virus are not hard to spot either. It mostly starts with one part of your face (typically near your lips) experiencing a tingly, itchy sensation. This is usually followed by a blister that will eventually crack, ooze and scab. The healing process for the cold sore is generally 1-2 weeks.
Treatments vary for cold sores depending on where it is located and the severity. However, whether you have a pimple or a cold sore, the same golden rule applies – do not touch it!