044: #askalexandra What’s The Difference Between an Outbreak and a Pimple?

Ask Answer & Get The Facts About Herpes

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Life With Herpes Podcast

Welcome to episode 44 of Life With Herpes. Thank you for spending this time with me, today is another terrific #AskAlexandra episode! These are my favorite because we get to connect one on one. If you want to send in your own question for an upcoming #AskAlexandra episode please go to the Life With Herpes web site and click the #AskAlexandra button on the home page. From there just fill out the form and hit submit. Remember if you have a question someone else out there probably has that same question so it's important to ask.


Getting back to today's question, it comes from Jayden in Atlanta, Georgia. She wants to know the difference between an outbreak and a pimple. Hear the answer on episode 44 of Life With Herpes.

More About Life With Herpes

Jayden, first thank you for this great question. Second, here is your answer: a herpes outbreak is a viral infection (HSV-1 or HSV-2), and a pimple is a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections can be from a clogged pore, an ingrown hair or a hormonal response to puberty.

Another difference is pimples are not contagious and do not stay with you for the rest of your life. Pimples can leave scars, herpes blisters do not. However, the herpes blisters are incredibly painful whereas pimples are not.


A similarity if you can get both in your genital area, but they look different. You can tell the difference by looking at the area. Blisters from an outbreak look like lesions, there is much more pus that comes out of a herpes blister than a pimple.

Tweetable:  “A zit is a zit is a zit, and herpes is herpes is herpes!”-  Alexandra Harbushka



If it looks like a pimple it's most likely pimple. But if it looks sore, open and filled with pus that is a herpes outbreak.


Also if it pops then it's a pimple, you cannot pop a herpes blister.


If you're still curious Google them both and look at the difference. Pimples on any part of your body will look the same no matter where it is. If it pops it is a zit, if not it won't. And honestly if it is a herpes blister you won't even consider popping it because the blister is so painful. Even the idea of popping a blister will cause you to feel pain!


But if you are still having trouble identifying what something is go to your doctor and get it swabbed. Find out if it's a pimple that hasn't gone away, or if it is a herpes blister. And

if you are with someone and you see some bumps, but aren't sure what they are, just stop what you are doing and ask them.


This is a good question Jayden because one of the biggest misconceptions is about this topic. Some people will call a herpes blister a pimple when it's really a blister. They are often confused.

Hope that answers your question! Thank you for joining me on episode 44 of Life With Herpes.

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