Difference between Pimple and Herpes

Key Difference: Acne is a disease/condition of the skin that occurs due to excessive oil clogging in the pores of skin and is characterized by presence of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. Herpes refer to any of a group of viral diseases belonging to the Herpesviridae family. Herpes can be caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2).

 

Acne (Acne Vulgaris) is a skin disease/condition that is found especially during the puberty age. A hormone named as Androgen is believed to be responsible for the enlargement of the oil gland. These enlarged glands produce excessive oil. The oil produced by the glands clogs the pores of the skin. The pores become susceptible to bacteria and finally results into plugged pores and lesions called as pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, nodules or cysts. All these lesions are characteristics of acne. They generally appear on the face, but they could also be found on the neck, chest, back, shoulders and arms.

 

Herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 are responsible for the condition known as Herpes. Generally Type 1 occurs as an infection on the facial and mouth areas. This virus causes sores (known as cold sores or fever blisters). On the other hand, Type 2 usually causes the genital herpes.  Genital herpes causes genital sores, but it can also infect the mouth. A majority of adults in the U.S. are believed to suffer from oral herpes (cold sores), usually caused by HSV-1.

 

Some of the differences are listed below:-

 

 

Pimples

        Herpes

Definition

Acne is a disease of the skin that occurs due to excessive oil clogging in the pores of skin and is characterized by presence of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads.

Herpes refer to any of a group of viral diseases belonging to the Herpesviridae family.

Prone areas of the skin

Face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and arms.

Mouth, face, genitals, skin, buttocks, and the anal area.

Caused by

Bacteria- Staphylococcus

Virus- Herpes simplex

Treatment

Includes Keratolytics (sulphur based treatment), antibiotics and antibacterials (Benzoyl Peroxide), Azelaic acid preparation, Topical antiseptic washes, Harmonal Treatment, Retinoids, etc.

No cure for herpes. One may use anti-viral medications to reduce the symptoms and speed the healing of the sores or blisters. The sores or blisters generally heal within 1-2 weeks without scarring.

Symptoms

Include crusting of skin bumps, a sac, pus filled under the skin tissue of about 5mm in diameter – very painful, Papules (small red bumps), Pustules, Redness around the skin eruptions, Scarring of the skin, Whiteheads and Blackheads

Initially a rash or a blister may appear. An itching or tingling sensation may follow, accompanied with flu-like symptoms, fever, painful urination and/or enlarged nodes.

Mode of transmission

Not contagious

By direct contact-

Any direct contact with an herpes infection

Kissing, touching or caressing actively infected areas.

Sexual contact

Cold sores or mouth sores can be spread by sharing the same glass, cigarette, lipstick, lip balm, etc.

(A pregnant woman with primary episode of genital herpes can pass the virus to her fetus)

Effecting Age

Generally, at the onset of puberty

Cold sores caused by Type 1 virus, generally affects children between the ages of 1 and 5.

Diagnosis

Based on the history and physical examination

By viral culture

 

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