Do You Have a Cold Sore or Pimple on the Lip Line?

When they first appear, cold sores and zits look a lot alike!  They feel like little bumps on your lip.  With them being so similar at first, how are you meant to tell the difference between a cold sore or pimple on the lip line?

Fever blisters affect millions of Americans.  They are a strain of the Herpes virus, and there’s no medical cure for them (as of yet).  Once the virus is in your system, it will never leave.  It could potentially lay dormant in your nerve endings forever, but some people get them several times every year.

The great news is that they can be safely treated at home, so click on the link below for the latest information on a treatment that was developed by doctors and dermatologists:

They both seem to happen during stressful times and they can both be caused by hormonal changes, such as pregnancy.  Whatever the reason, it is there now.  But, you have to figure out which one it is before you can treat it and get rid of it. The wrong treatment is almost as bad as no treatment.

The similarities between cold sores and pimples can cause you to put off treatment until it’s bigger, and then it will take more time to heal.  So, how can you tell the difference? Keep reading and find out the answer to that question below!

Cold Sore or Pimple on Lip

In this article, we will talk about both the similarities and differences.  We will also talk about how to treat it, if it is a cold sore.

How to Tell if It’s a Cold Sore or Pimple on the Lip?

Cold sores appear quite frequently on the lower lip line, but they can also appear on the skin around your mouth, and even under your nose.  Pimples can and do appear anywhere. Perhaps others have formed?

Tingling or Burning Sensation

As they both start out as small red dots, there is one definite symptom that differentiates the two.  A cold sore will tingle, or burn at first.  A pimple, on the other hand, will be more of a raised red bump.  It may hurt, but it won’t have that tingling sensation.

Cold Sores Don’t Contain Any Puss

It’s important that you don’t try to squeeze it, as a lot of people do with pimples, as it will only make it hurt.

  • If it is a pimple, and puss comes out, it can cause another zit to appear.
  • If it is a cold sore, it’ll hurt and burn. It could also spread, possibly to others.

A pimple occurs when a hair follicle is clogged.  This means that it cannot form on the lips, but they can definitely appear on the lip line.  Cold sores usually appear on the lip itself.

Difference Between a Cold Sore & a Zit

Virus Vs Clogged Skin Pores

do cold sores pop like pimples?Cold sores are a result of the HSV-1, or the Herpes Simplex Virus.  The virus contains two strains, one affects the mouth and the other one affects the genitals.  About 90% of people are born with this virus, meaning that they are carriers of it, but only about half of these people ever show signs.

Once you do get a fever blister, however, there is a very good chance that more will follow during the course of your lifetime.  This is why it’s important to know the difference between the two.

Triggered by Certain Conditions

There are things that can cause the virus to ‘awaken’ from its dormant stage.  These are called cold sore triggers.  Different people have different triggers, so pay special attention to what is occurring when you do get one.

Some triggers are cold weather, hormonal changes, stress, and illness.  Hormonal changes and stress can also cause pimples, but weather and illness usually do not.

Pay Attention to the Color

A cold sore is more likely to be dark pink in color, and closer to the skin.  A pimple, on the other hand, will be redder in color, and will be raised.  It could have a head on it, also, such as whiteheads and blackheads.  A fever blister does not.  It is simply a spot.

Zits form because of clogged hair follicles.  There are no follicles in your lips themselves, but there are follicles on the lip line.

This will help you a little bit more to determine which one it is.  They will both get bigger, but a zit will only get inflamed and hurt.  A cold sore, on the other hand, will quickly become bigger and more painful.  There are different stages of a cold sore, and if you are able to stop it from getting any worse, you won’t have to through many stages at all.

When you are able to catch a cold sore at the very beginning stages, you can cut the healing time by at least half.

How to Treat a Cold Sore on the Lip

If you leave the sore to run its course, it will be there for 10 – 14 days, and will become very painful and ugly.  Thankfully, the cold sore treatments are becoming better and better at stopping the virus in its tracks.  One of these is Herp-B-Gone.  This treatment is fairly new, and can stop the spot from developing into a blister. Check out the latest customer reviews on

When you have a pimple on your lip line, you can easily treat it with benzoyl peroxide, or another form of acne product.  It may hurt until it’s gone, simply because of the location.  Your lips are always moving, and as they do, they are stretching the skin and irritating the spot even more.

Preventing the Virus from Spreading

Wash your hands often.  This is a very contagious virus, and can easily be spread from person to person via personal items such as eating utensils and cups, and hygienic items such as towels and washcloths.  Anything that comes into contact with the sore can spread it to someone else.

Whichever it is, take care to not touch it.  If you absolutely have to, such as when you put medicine on it, make sure that you wash your hands immediately.  They can both leave things on your hands that can cause them to spread.  The best treatment for cold sores is Herp-B-Gone. Treat them as soon as you can, wash your hands, and avoid touching them.