Difference Between Acne and Herpes

The acne and herpes are skin related problems but are two different clinical entities. Acne is also called as acne vulgaris in medical terms. It is a condition that usually affects the teenagers. The main cause is the hormonal changes during the teenage. The testosterone and the family of that hormone may precipitate the condition. The sebum which gives the oily appearance gets accumulated in the sebaceous glands and the increase in production of keratine will results in acne. High glycaemic load (which gives more calories) will worsen the acne. Cow milk also worsens the acne.

The condition will resolves with time. But for a small group of people it may be a problem even after the teenage. Propionibacterium acnes, the bacterium which usually do not harm and lives in our body may infect the sebum collection and cause inflammation. Inflammation will result in redness, swelling and pain.

Herpes is a virus infection. The virus name is herpes simplex virus. It has two types, HSV 1 and HSV 2. The type one herpes cause lesions in the oral cavity and face. The type 2 causes infection in genital region. The virus spread by direct contact. Now it is proved that both herpes can be spread by sexual contact also. The lesions are healed spontaneously. However the virus will stay in the nerve tissue and reactivated during the time where the immunity of the persons goes down. The reactivation will be in the area where the nerve which affected by the virus supplies. The reactivated lesions will be painful to the patient compared with the primary lesions. However there are no ways to eradicate the virus which hide in the nerve ganglion.

The treatment will be anti viral drugs. Acyclovir is used successfully to treat herpes. The vaccines are now developed against herpes. Using barrier methods such as male condom will help to reduce the genital herpes infection. In some patients the virus may be cause life threatening conditions. Neonates can be affected by infection and the severity may be high.

In summary,

¤ The acne and herpes are two different clinical entities.

¤ Usually both will affect the skin.

¤ The acne is considered as harmless condition and usually it’s self limiting. But Herpes will recur.

¤ Acne is worsened by bacterial infection. Herpes itself is a viral infection.

¤ Acne can be treated with oestrogen cream, retinoic creams. Herpes treated with antiviral treatment.