Acne vs. Herpes – The Difference Between

How are acne and herpes different? There are many different skin conditions that affect people all over the…

How are acne and herpes different?

There are many different skin conditions that affect people all over the world. Two of most common of these are acne and herpes. Even though they both affect the skin, they are two different skin conditions and require different treatments.


Among medical professionals, acne, which is a condition that primarily affects teenagers, is known as acne vulgaris. It is caused by the increase in hormones as children move into their adolescent years, especially the production of testosterone and other hormones that are in that family. Sebum, which is what causes oil in the skin, accumulates in the pores and in the sebaceous glands. This clogs the pores and causes an overproduction of keratine and this causes acne to develop. There are certain foods that make acne worse. These include cow’s milk and high calorie foods, such as junk food.

Acne generally resolves itself over time as the hormone levels start to stabilize in the body. However, there are some people for whom acne is a problem well beyond their teenage years. In some cases the acne can become infected by propionibacterium. This is not a fatal bacteria but it can infiltrate the clogged sebaceous glands and cause them to become inflamed. This causes the acne to become more noticeable because it is red, swollen and sore.


Herpes, on the other hand, is a viral infection and can be one of two types – HSV 1 or HSV 2. HSV stands for Herpes Simplex Virus, which is the medical term for this condition. HSV 1 causes an infection in the mouth and face. HSV 2 causes herpes to develop on the genital area of the body. Herpes is an STD because it has been proven that it is spread through sexual contact.

Even though herpes lesions heal all at the same time when you start taking the treatment, the virus does remain in the body and when the immune system weakens, the condition will reoccur. The reoccurrence will take place in the area of the body where the nerve has been affected by the virus. The new lesions that develop are much more painful than the previous ones were. While the lesions can be healed there is no cure for the virus.

Anti-viral drugs are used to treat herpes. One that has proven to be really effective is Acyclovir. There are also vaccines available to prevent herpes, and the use of condoms will also reduce the chances of contracting this disease. Some patients have had life-threatening complications from herpes and unborn babies are at high risk of infection.


  1. Acne and herpes affect the skin, but they are two entirely different medical conditions.
  2. Acne is considered harmless and usually resolves itself over time. Herpes is caused by a virus for which there is no cure.
  3. Herpes is a viral infection and while acne is not an infection, it can become worse when it is affected by bacteria.
  4. You can treat acne with cream, but you need anti-viral drugs to treat herpes.


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