Difference Between Pimple and Herpes

Pimples and Herpes originate for entirely different reasons and from different backgrounds. However, the challenge is pimples and herpes sores (a symptom of herpes) look very similar to each other. The importance of understanding the difference between pimples and herpes may help to address the problem at an early stage.

What is a Pimple?

Pimples are a type of acne. They appear as a result of skin infection. A pimple is backed by several body functions. First the sebaceous glands produce excessive oil on to the skin, and they get accumulated clogging the pores. In these oily accumulations, several harmful bacteria such as Propionibactrium start growing and infecting that area of the skin. The outer appearance of a pimple looks like a sore. It appears swollen, reddish and often hurts when touched.

Pimples are a bigger problem when it comes to adolescents. The reason for the sudden increase of pimples in the teenage days is because the skin thickens with the secondary growth. Hormonal changes, stress, lack of hygiene may also turn the situation to worse. There are several treatments for pimples such as over the counter prescriptions, medical prescriptions, and improving personal hygiene. Frequently used over the counter prescriptions are benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Nicotinamide is one of the latest skin applications used which also reduces pimple scars. In serious cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics such as tetracycline and erythromycin. Regular washings with a pH balanced cleanser and avoid touching pimples with dirt in hands could also reduce pimples. Pimples mostly appear in the face and sometimes in the chest, neck and back.

What is Herpes?

Herpes is a viral infection. There are several herpes types caused by several viral strains. Orofacial herpes and genital herpes are some examples. In orofacial herpes, cold sores and fever blisters appear in the face. This is the main symptom. In genital herpes, the sores appear in genital areas. People should be extra careful because herpes is easily transmitted by direct contact of body fluids of an infected individual. It is also transmitted skin to skin while asymptomatic shedding. Genital herpes is transmitted by sexual intercourse especially when it is an unsafe sex.

The reason as to why pimples and herpes are discussed together is because of the herpes sores that appear on face upon infection looks like pimples. It is important to identify the possibilities to some extent in order to start early medication. Most of the herpes sores are located near the mouth area and sometimes the nose and eyes. They appear in big cluster like formations than how pimples appear. Most of them are painful even without having to touch them.

What is the difference between Pimples and Herpes?

• Pimples are generally a bacterial infection while herpes is a viral infection.

• Pimples are not transmitted by contact with an infected individual, but herpes is transmitted by direct contact with body fluids of an infected individual.

• Pimples appear in the face (cheeks, forehead, chin), neck and back, but herpes sores appear in the face (near mouth, nose, and eyes), genital areas.

• Pimples are generally individual spots whereas herpes sores appear in big clusters.

• Pimples are painful if you touch them whereas herpes sores are painful even without having to touch them.

N.B: This article is obviously a general outline. It is always better to consult a dermatologist to know what it is for sure.