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Does Herpes Look Like A Pimple?

Updated on September 12, 2008

Does Herpes Look Like A Pimple?

I'd like to say no, but the truth is more complicated than a simple yes or no. Herpes does look like a pimple. At least it can, in the beginning. We'll have to go through the cycle of a herpes outbreak in order to give you a clear picture of the situation.

I have to be honest with you though; in order for you to actually mistake herpes for pimples you need to be pretty unobservant. There are a lot of things that come with a herpes outbreak that are too offside for some simple pimples.

For exmple, before you actually get your first outbreak, you probaby experience some pain in your lower back, muscle soreness. You might notice your lymph glands are swollen.

Next phase is when the red spots start appearing. These spots grow in to small bubbles, blisters, filled with a liquid transparent pus. Before they actually grow into blisters they might look like pimples, but after they continue growing for a while, it's very hard to mistake them for anything else than herpes.

I'm still not sure if it's herpes or a pimple!

If you're still uncertain whether it's a pimple or herpes, then my advice is simple: Wait! If it's herpes, it will definitely reach a certain stage where it will either not look like a pimple at all or be the ugliest-ass pimple you've ever seen. Just kick back and relax. Take notice if you have any other symptoms as well, such as the fever or any muscle soreness. As I said earlier, both of these are symptoms that are usually connected with a herpes outbreak. So, when unsure, wait it out.

Will herpes blisters leave scars?

Actually, unlike pimples which are located in a deeper level of the skin, herpes blisters are lie just beneath the top level of the skin. Because of this, usually no scarring occurrs, but don't take this as an invitation to start scratching. If you definitely want scars; try scratching off your herpes blisters.

Why Is This Such A Popular Question?

I think it has something to do with the fact that no one wants herpes, and that most people don't actually have a clue how herpes works and what it looks like. As they used to say back in the day, knowledge is power.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I had a cold sore couple years ago went to the doctors and tested positive for herpes because herpes are part of a cold sore so now I just have breakouts around my chin and there pimples I look like pimples but but there's always white heads on them and they bust a lot like pimples do so I'm not for sure but I was tested for that and then came back positive but they said no breakouts anywhere so I don't know what the f*** it means

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I got one on my chin, not sure what it is. really bad the first year ,it took a few months to completely heal but I always had a read mark that never went away, then I got one the following year, now I have another one about 8 months later.does herpes leave a permanent pink mark? that is the only place i get them.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      do they have a white head on them like a zit? at all

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      i have red patchs on my cheek, beside my nose,on my forehead, and above my lip..could it be a simple rash or could it be herpes? please help im only 15, and really damn scared.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have what I thought may be a cyst of acne on my chin. However, it seems to be getting bigger. it is almost an inch big. red, swollen. under my chin inbetween my throat and neck it was sore, what is this what can i take

      thank you please help

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      yes i have the same thing as evan but on my sack what is it????

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      @truecures You are slightly incorrect. I've had herpes for the past year and a half. Sometimes herpes does itch, especially when a person is beginning to have an outbreak.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      the thing that makes me question what i have is: I just had sex for a whole weekend with someone who said they have been tested and are clean, but two days after, a large part of my groin broke out in what looks like pimples. They all appear to be where hair folicles are as if I was so hot and sweaty that I got some kind of sex bacteria in my pores that made me break out. Its hard to tell because it's such a bad break out. white heads and now puss from infection. no other symptoms like above..

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      How can you have antibodies and not have herpes? Wouldn't that just mean that you don't show symptoms, but you still have it?

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      I have Herpes 1. I have outbreaks on my chin that are not in clusters. They are single bumps that look like pimples, that do not feel like zits, and will not take pimple treatment. They are cold sores and only go away with things like HerpacinL or Abreeva. I used to get stereotypical outbreaks at the corner of my mouth but have not for years and now only get these pimple like blisters on my chin. 1-3 at a time. And they itch sometimes. Everyone is different.

    • TrueCures profile image


      12 years ago from Idaho

      Herpes looks like a cold sore, even when on the genitalia.

      Herpes does not itch and it does not look like a rash.

      Doctors often misdiagnose yeast infections and jock itch with herpes because a person tests positive with an antibody blood test because they either want to play it safe just in case or they want to sell valtrex.

      A person can come in contact with herpes and maintain a high antibody level for years and not have herpes virus.

      Herpes always has a large blister on a large sore. Herpes does not look like pimples, if it looks like pimples it is either just a pimple or a fungal pimple which will be in clusters and always misdiagnosed as herpes.


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