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Difference between Zit and a Cold Sore

Difference between Zit and a Cold Sore

No one enjoys getting a zit, but what about a cold sore? Are they the same thing? And if not, what’s the difference? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at these two types of sores and discuss their similarities and differences. By the end, you’ll be able to better identify which one is affecting you and know how to treat it.

What is Zit?

A zit is a small, raised inflamed bump on the skin that is caused by clogged pores. Zits most commonly occur on the face, but can also appear on the chest, back, and shoulders. Zits are typically filled with sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Zits can be painful and cause significant embarrassment, especially when they occur on the face. There are many treatments available for zits, including over-the-counter topical medications, prescription oral medications, and laser treatments. Zits are a common skin condition that can be effectively treated with medical intervention.

What is a Cold Sore?

A Cold Sore is a small and painful blister that typically appears on the lip or around the mouth. Cold Sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), and are highly contagious.

This means that they can be spread through direct contact with a person who has HSV, or by sharing items such as utensils, towels, or lip balm. Cold Sores usually last for 7-10 days, and will typically go through three stages: a tingling/itching phase, a blistering phase, and a scabbing phase.

Treatment options include over-the-counter creams and ointments, as well as prescription antiviral medications. While there is no cure for HSV, these treatments can help to shorten the duration of a Cold Sore outbreak.

Difference between Zit and a Cold Sore

Zits and cold sores may look similar, but they are actually quite different.

  • Zits are small bumps that form when the pores of the skin become clogged with sebum, a type of oil produced by the sebaceous glands.
  • Cold sores, on the other hand, are blisters that form around the mouth or nose.
  • They are caused by the herpes simplex virus and can be passed from one person to another through close contact.
  • Zits usually go away on their own within a few days, but cold sores can last for weeks or even months.

There are also several over-the-counter treatments available for cold sores. However, there is no cure for herpes simplex virus, so once you have it, you will have it for life.


Although they may look similar, there is a big difference between zits and cold sores. Knowing the differences can help you treat them properly and prevent them from becoming bigger problems. If you’re not sure what kind of sore you have, be sure to consult with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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