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Difference Between Pimples and Fever Blisters

Though they are often mistaken as one, there is a noteworthy difference between what we know as pimples and fever blisters. Scroll down for detailed information on the topic.

Pimples or rather any kind of red projections on the face are unsightly and unwanted. As far as fever blisters are concerned, they are often confused as pimples or acne. Reason for this is – the appearance of both these is very similar. The confusion can cause more harm than good, because the treatment for both these problems is entirely different. There is often the case that people who actually have fever blisters end up with taking treatment for acne. Only a dermatologist can accurately diagnose what you are suffering, but the write-up below that summarizes the differences between the two.

Fever Blisters Vs. Pimples


These are a common problem majority of the population experiences during the adolescence stage. Apart from the hormonal changes in the body, there are plenty of other causes for pimple formation. See below for details…

Appearance: These are red lesions that make their appearance felt more commonly on the face. Whiteheads, cysts and blackheads are common types. They also appear on other regions of the body like back, shoulders and legs.

Causes: There are plenty of causes. Clogging of pores is the major reason for pimple formation on the facial skin. The pores are clogged due to over secretion of sebum, coupled with dead skin accumulation in the pores. This continuous clogging of pores results in lesion or pimple formation. Use of certain medications can increase the heat in the body and result in acne. Unavoidable hormonal changes is a common cause in females. Touching or rubbing a pimple can cause the bacteria to spread around.

Cures: There are many treatments available to tackle the problem. Medications in the form of creams, ointments or tablets is given in case of severe pimple or acne formation. But along with the treatment, certain precautionary measures are also necessary. Splashing cold water on the face removes sweat, which is a major cause. Also, do not rub or touch the pimples as it can affect the surrounding skin area. Over washing the face should also be avoided as it causes over secretion of sebum which harms the skin pores and encourages pimple formation.

Key Points

  • Non-contagious
  • Take their own time to cure
  • Painless
  • Part of the teenage years
  • Pimples can leave severe scars behind
  • The outbreak is sudden

Fever Blisters

It is another name for cold sores, and there are plenty of causes for the appearance of these blisters on the skin. These blisters are also commonly seen in the population as it is one of the symptoms of the widely spread infection – herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). The details are given below…

Appearance: They are fluid filled blisters that usually occur around the mouth, and the upper lip portion, chin, or in the nostrils.

Causes: Contagious virus herpes simplex type 1 causes this condition. A simple rubbing of the cold sore with any other person’s arms can spread the infection to the person. The cold sores generally affect people in their early childhood and majority of population must have had a bout of these. The fever blisters are accompanied by fever and pain.

Cures: The fever blisters appear in some stages. In the beginning there is some tingling sensation beneath the skin, and after that the fluid filled blisters are formed. These blisters rupture and take the form of shallow weeping sores, the sores are contagious. Once the fluid flow stops, dry crusts appear on the blisters. These scabs get smaller with time and when they are finally gone leave scars behind. As said earlier, there are no such permanent cures, once the virus enters your system it stays in, and can reappear. There are also no vaccinations available to treat these blisters. Use of certain medications and ointments help relieve the pain to some extent.

Key Points

  • Contagious
  • Incurable
  • Accompanied by pain
  • They leave minor marks behind
  • Appear in the form of stages

Also, fever blistered are categorized as mouth disorders and pimples under skin disorders. Though the appearance of both these is same, the causes and treatment are entirely different. Adherence to hygienic habits and healthy food and lifestyle can prevent the occurrence to some extent.

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