Cold Sores vs. Acne – Differences and Similarities

Some people think that acne and cold sores are the same. Nevertheless, both of these are skin conditions that have slight differences on symptoms, but they do not have any similarities when it comes to appearance, causes and treatments.


It may be hard to believe, but both cold sores and acne can be easily distinguished. An individual afflicted with cold sores may show signs of blister formation with the absence of pus. These fluid-filled, small bumpy structures usually appear clustered on the affected area. Aside from pain that may occur for 2 to 3 days prior to the onset of the blisters, fully developed cold sores can be quite painful. Acne, on the other hand, does not cause the same amount of discomfort although acne can cause mild, tolerable irritation. Aside from that, acne bumps are larger compared to cold sores. Acne lesions known as pimples contain pus and unlike cold sores, acne formation is marked by the formation of pimples that are filled with pus. However, remember that the term or word acne is not exclusive to pimples, as it could also be used to refer to small raised bumps found on the skin, such as blackheads or white heads.

Site of Occurrence

Clusters of colds sores usually appear around the lips. These are fluid-filled fever blisters that may occur right your lips as well. In the case of acne conditions, the pimples normally appear anywhere within the area of the face. Acne pimples usually appear on the forehead, cheeks and nose. Individuals who are prone to acne formation may also develop acne pimples on the back but rarely around the mouth.


The underlying cause is the most significant difference between these skin problems.  Type 1 herpes simplex virus is known as the primary cause of cold sores. Acne formation, on the other hand, can be triggered by various factors, such as too much production of sebum that is often followed by the clogging of the skin pores, which makes it subsequent for bacterial growth. The sebaceous glands located underneath the skin are more concentrated within the facial and back area, and these glands are responsible for the secretion of sebum, which is an oily substance. Cold sores, nonetheless, is due to a viral infection while acne occurs due to bacterial invasion within the pores of the skin.


Since the underlying causes for both skin problems differ, the treatment is different as well. The use of topical anesthetics like lidocaine is recommended for cold sores to relieve the pain sensation temporarily. For severe cases of acne, however, consumption of oral antibiotics is often recommended. Because cold sore conditions are categorized as viral infections, the best treatment option for it is the consumption of oral antiviral medications, such as famciclovir and acyclovir.

In case you are noticing unusual bumps on your skin and you are confused if it is cold sore or acne, it would be best to refer to your physician for help. Your physician can help you identify the condition, thus making it easier for you to opt for the right treatment.


Understand the Commonalities of Cold Sores and Canker Sores

The reason why most people are baffled between canker sores and cold sores is because both conditions occur by the presence of fluid-filled sores in or around the oral cavity. Nonetheless, cold sores generally exist in or throughout the lips whereas canker sores typically develop beneath the tongue, on the soft palate and the internal part of the cheeks and lips. Both disorders can be easily confirmed in accordance with its causes and symptoms as well.


Cold sores or fever blisters result from a virus strain called herpes virus type 1 or HSV-1, but this is not the identical virus that triggers genital herpes, as that is herpes virus type 2 or HSV-2. On the other hand, the working procedure for both viruses is almost similar. These pathogen strains normally affect a person in their childhood years and when contaminated, the herpes virus remains inside the body’s central nervous system. These viruses will remain dormant for some time until triggered by some conditions or factors. These include stress, fragile immune system as well as excessive contact with sunlight. The main reason for the development of canker sores, however, is still unidentified. These canker sores are generally noticed in the form of localized irritation or ulcers. The occurrence of canker sores is often induced due to vitamin insufficiency, sleep deficiency and stress.


Herpes virus type 1 is very infectious which can be easily dispersed from one infected person to another through saliva. A cold sore issue is also referred to as a kissing illness, as it may also be transferred by kissing a person infected by the virus. Canker sores, on the other hand, are not transmittable as the illness is not because of any type of pathogen.


No long term treatment method is readily available for cold sore ailments. Herpes simplex virus is deeply rooted in the spine, in an region where no drugs is able to reach it. This will make it even more difficult to eliminate the problem or the virus itself. However, you can actually ease the symptoms of the infection using cold sore home remedies and medications. These over the counter medications include Zilactin, Carmex, Orajel, Orabase, Abreva and Anbensol. All these are helpful in alleviating pain and irritation because of the disorder. Vitamin C and lysine supplements can also be helpful against cold sores.

Canker sores can be very painful, particularly when there are too many large lesions. After the crust covering the sores started breaking, this could result in bacterial infections. For this reason, it is necessary to wash the mouth using an antibacterial mouthwash to avoid further infection. Keeping the area affected wet using petroleum jelly could help speed up the process of healing of the problem. Aphthasol, nonetheless, is the only medication approved by the FDA for canker sores. Aside from this, you may also use over-the-counter ointments to relieve the indicators of the infection.

Both illnesses have the tendency to be recurrent. Nonetheless, maintaining proper oral hygiene could help minimize the risk of recurrence and the seriousness of outbreaks. Wherever possible, you also need to avoid being in contact with individuals to prevent the infection. To learn more concerning cold sores and canker sores, it might be advisable to consult your health care provider.

Overcome Cold Sores with White Vinegar

Sadly, there are no solutions available for herpes infections. The herpes virus could be contracted in early childhood, because this is the time when the immune system is vulnerable and premature. The herpes virus will continue to be inactive in the body and remains asymptomatic. The herpes simplex virus can be passed on from one individual to another and may be activated by different factors, therefore bringing on the growth of cold sores. Because the virus stays inside the nervous system, no medication can reach it and get rid of the virus.

Nevertheless, there are various ways to minimize the indicators of the illness and extend its dormancy. Curbing the outbreak of cold sores prior to its eruption can lessen the time of the episode and relieve the indications of the problem. Among the remedies you can use correctly from cold sores as well as its indicators are the following:

White vinegar is known as an acidic compound made by fermenting apple and grape juice. The process of its production undergoes two levels and is almost similar to the production of wine. The initial level requires the production of alcohol from bacterial fermentation of the fruit juices and the next stage is fermenting the alcohol, which is carried out to create vinegar. Vinegar will then be regarded as as an over aged wine beverage. The acidic property of this can be utilized effectively for eliminating the indicators of cold sores. Nonetheless, the kind of vinegar that is regularly used for the indications of cold sores is white vinegar and this can be used in various methods.

Topical Application

As one of the most effective cold sore remedies, white vinegar can be utilized topically against cold sore ailments, especially the itching sensation. On the other hand, experts do not recommend its direct application to the open lesion. To use it topically, you can just put white vinegar to a cotton ball and then put it on the lesion. This may hurt a lot when used on open lesions so it would be better to use white wine vinegar on the first indication of infection as well as before the lesions begin to erupt. Pain and irritation often come before the development of lesions, so as soon as you feel something itchy or painful on the involved area, be sure you apply apple cider vinegar into it immediately.


Frequent consumption of white vinegar can be carried out as part of remedy for cold sores. You can begin by adding two teaspoons of white vinegar into water and drinking it after, prior to or during a meal. You can maximize the use to three to five teaspoons gradually, but it must not be more than that. Such type of white vinegar is beneficial in reducing the amount of sugar in meals, hence stopping the occurrence of cold sore outbreak and any other types of infections.

Besides being an beneficial cold sore treatment, vinegar can also be used to preserve overall health condition and stop various infections, as it includes natural sanitizing properties. Aside from that, vinegar is also useful in enhancing the body’s defense mechanisms to avoid the occurrence of cold sore illnesses in the future.

What are the Different Types of Cold Sores?

Even though the name is cold sore, the one thing you have to remember is that the ailment is not linked with normal cold disorders. Cold sore illnesses should not be wrongly identified as canker sores as well, as these are two different medical problems. Cold sores normally cultivate to fluid-filled lesions, which erupt after several days, thereby making it completely different from canker sores. Fever blisters or cold sores result from HSV-1 and HSV -2 pathogens as well. To learn more about the distinctions of cold sores and canker sores, you may refer to

Herpes Virus Type 1 Cold Sores

HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus type 1 is the cause of most cold sore illnesses. The impacted areas may experience a tingling sensation for two days before the lesions start to show up. The blisters will then open after a couple of days from which fluid oozes out just before it starts to crust over. The crusting indicates the beginning of the healing process, which generally take one to two weeks in some sufferers. This sort of infection, herpes virus, is known as the common reason behind genital cold sores.

HSV-2 Cold Sores

In rare occasions, cold sore conditions may also be as a consequence of an infection resulting from herpes virus type 2 or HSV-2. This kind of herpes strain generally results to the development of anogenital lesions or cold sores within the genital area. In addition to its pathological perspective, this kind of sore is almost identical to the ones resulting from HSV-1 and requires the same length of time to heal. This simply indicates that both virus strains may cause genital and oral herpes.

After understanding what is a cold sore it is also essential to understand how the herpes virus could be transmitted, as well as its transmission rate. Herpes virus type 1 can be transferred through touching, using personal items and kissing. Self-care is considered as the best remedy against the condition. Nonetheless, this is only appropriate if you are aware of the first signs of the condition. Nevertheless, after the sores erupted, these will take their own process of recovery that frequently takes about fourteen days. Hence, opting for quick relief or solution against the ailment may help prevent an episode and limit the process of healing of the problem.

How to Cure Cold Sores?

Utilizing ice compress over the region where you are experiencing a tingling feeling could help prevent cold sore outbreaks. Ice remedy can inactivate the ability of the virus to duplicate, therefore relieving the indications of infection as well. You can also utilize petroleum jelly in the afflicted area to stop the lesions from drying up or it could cause intense pain. It can also be required to always keep the affected region clean by cleansing it with water and anti-microbial soap.

When you need to go out, be sure that you protect the involved area to prevent it from coming in contact with direct sunlight. You can also try using natural home remedies, like alum, garlic oil, aloe vera gel, and toothpaste and oregano oil on and round the involved area. Nonetheless, make sure to wash both hands properly before and after using home cures to the sores to avoid it from dispersing to other areas of the body.

Lifestyle and dietary modifications are very important as well. Nonetheless, in case the cures cited above cannot offer comfort from the blisters, it is recommended to see a medical doctor and go for drugs against the ailment. Your personal doctor can provide you information regarding the what causes cold sores symptoms. This will make it less difficult for you to manage and prevent the problem in the future.

The Best Way to Ease the Symptoms of Fever Blisters

During a cold sore episode, the one thing you have to bear in mind is the idea that the disappearance of the sores or blisters does not signify that the infection is relieved. Although blisters fade away after a few weeks, the virus stays within the body in inactive state. One important thing you should remind yourself regarding HSV is that as soon as it gets inside the body, it will never leave. It will remain in the body inactively till it is triggered by certain mental, environmental and physical factors that leads to the indication of the symptoms of fever blisters or cold sores.

Transmission of Fever Blisters

As mentioned, HSV or herpes simplex virus is the key reason for the issue. Even though the virus remains inactive in the body, there are instances when transmission is at higher risk. HSV can trick the immune system of the body by making it think that the virus does not exist within the body. While the virus is in its inactive state, the body’s immune system is unable to discover it for this reason no medicines can be applied to warn the immune system of the body that the virus is present within the body. Transmission of the pathogen may happen through the following:

* Kissing

* Eating on a single plate or utilizing the same eating utensils

* Sharing one drinking cup

* Sharing cigarette or lipstick

* Intercourse

* Coming in contact with the sores and then touching someone else utilizing the same hand without disinfecting or washing it can transfer the herpes simplex virus.

* An expectant woman suffering from the problem can pass it to the unborn child inside her womb.

* People that are experiencing the situation can transmit the herpes virus even though it is asymptomatic. Though the person never encountered any break out previously, it does not mean that the pathogen is less transmittable and that it cannot be transmitted to other individuals.

The treatment method for fever blisters cannot cure the problem, but it can provide relief against the signs of the problem. These remedies may include the utilization of topical solutions, such as behenyl alcohol. Zinc oxide and zinc sulfate ointments or creams can also be utilized together with these solutions to boost the process of recovery of the issue. Medications can also be administered, for instance penciclovir and acyclovir.

Other than these, there are home cures available for the disorder as well. Using ice in the affected area can help numb the pain sensation and lower the inflammation or swelling. Tea tree bag can also be a useful treatment from fever blisters. Simply place the bag into the involved area and it will help take care of the blisters and shorten the length of the outbreak. Another useful treatment is the use of tea tree oil. This will help ease the outbreak and prevent it from dispersing.

In addition to these effective cold sore home remedies and medications, lifestyle and dietary alterations are needed as well. For one, it is necessary that you stay away from eating meals containing high amount of arginine and acid, because these can increase viral growth and irritate the disorder. If you are going through severe indications of the disorder, it could be best to speak with your physician promptly for proper examination and use of the most appropriate treatment solution for the ailment.

How to Handle Cold Sore Problems

Most people are unaware that cold sore breakouts in the facial region are caused by an infection brought on by herpes simplex virus type 1. Approximately 90% of all conditions of cold sore in the area above the waist is due to herpes virus type 1. Then again, herpes simplex virus type 2 is the one accountable for cold sores outbreak on the genital region. The appearance of blisters around the face is regarded as orofacial herpes, whilst the ones in the genitals are known as anogenital herpes.

Up to this day, no medications are available for the treatment of the illness yet. The available medicines can only be utilized to reduce the pain sensation and limit the period of the break out. The procedure of treatment methods are the same regardless of where the blisters appear, which means the same drugs are recommended for cold sore problems on the lips and other regions of the face. The treatment methods could also involve the utilization of over the counter or prescribed medicines and home remedies.

Given that the factor for the infection is an infection caused by a virus, the initial treatment method requires the administration of antiviral medications. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, physicians may suggest the usage of oral drugs, such as valacyclovir, famciclovir and acyclovir. Topical ointments or creams can also be utilized for managing the illness. Nonetheless, immediate treatment of the disorder is necessary to prevent the outbreak from exacerbating.

Natural cold sore remedies could also be used to alleviate the signs of the problem. These home remedies include the use of ice packs, petroleum jelly, tea bags or Echinacea tea tree oil. This can give you comfort in just two days from the initial break out of cold sores. Even though it is not regarded as a natural remedy, it is also required to avoid picking or squeezing on the sores to avoid irritation and spread in other locations. Washing hands before and after applying creams or ointments is also advised.

Proper personal hygiene is also required when afflicted by HSV-1 or 2. Maintaining the area always clean can help prevent the virus from spreading to other areas of the body. The fluid-filled sores within the infected region must be drained properly and this should be washed using water as well as antimicrobial soap. After washing the region, pat it with dry and clean hand towel. Then again, keep in mind that serious cases of cold sores ought to be clinically diagnosed by a health practitioner to ascertain the real cause of the ailment.

For the management of the problem, vitamin C, zinc and lysine health supplements are typically recommended. These nutritional supplements are all helpful in improving the body’s immune system, thus shortening the break out period and speeding up the recovery process. These complementary remedies cold sores can also help lessen the risk of break out recurrence. Other than these, lifestyle and dietary improvements are also important to stay away from the affliction.

Be aware that your best protection against the problem is to ensure your immune system is kept healthy. It is therefore required to talk to your physician at the initial sign of infection to acquire an immediate solution for it. Proper dieting, healthy lifestyle and correct hygiene also play a huge role when addressing cold sores. You can also ask your personal doctor for methods to avoid the problem, and also techniques on how you can maintain the strength of your immune system.