Alcohol and herpes: Can I drink alcohol while having herpes? This is a so common question that all may want to know about herpes infections. In this article, you’ll find the answer.
When you’re having a herpes outbreak, certain foods or drinks can relieve the symptoms. But they can sometimes weaken your immune system, triggering a new outbreak. In many cases, these foods and drinks can interact with your herpes medications. This results in mild or serious side effects. Some side effects may affect your liver. Alcohol is among the most common drinks you should be cautious of.
What Is Herpes and How to Get Rid of It?
Before looking at the relationship between alcohol and herpes, you need to clarify what is herpes and how do you get it.
Herpes is a skin infection characterized by sores on the genitals or the mouth. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus or HSV. This virus includes two main types: type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Both types can cause outbreaks of sores on anywhere of your body including:
- areas above the waist: mouth, throat, lips, eyes, and face
- areas below the waist: butt, inner thighs, penis, vagina, vulva, anus
A herpes outbreak looks like a group of itchy, painful blisters or sores that come and go. The blisters can break open, turn into sores and then begin to heal. They usually occur with other symptoms like:
- pain, itching or swelling around the affected area
- burning and pain while peeing
If you’re first infected with HSV, you may experience some flu-like symptoms such as:
- body aches
- swollen glands
These symptoms usually appear 2-20 days after virus exposure. After healing, the virus lies dormant in your body and waits to causes a new outbreak.
Herpes is very contagious. You can get the virus from skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Some behaviors and lifestyles factors can put you at risk of catching herpes. They include:
- having oral, vaginal or anal sex
- touching your partner’s genitals or mouth and then touching yours
- kissing someone who has oral herpes
- sharing drinks, toothbrushes, utensils, or towels with an infected person
- giving birth vaginally can pass herpes on to your baby
Herpes is most contagious during an active outbreak. But even when no sores are present, the virus can also be transmitted. To prevent herpes transmission, it’s important to take some tips below:
- Do not have sex while you’re having a herpes outbreak
- Use condoms every time you have sex
- Avoid oral sex if sores or blisters are visible
In most cases, antiviral medications are used to treat and prevent herpes outbreaks. One of the most common herpes creams on the market right now is ProsurX. It is made with antiviral nanoparticles and natural, essential oils. ProsurX can help get rid of pain and stop an outbreak before it starts very well. People with herpes can also use Zovirax or Valtrex fight the infection and reduce outbreaks.
Alcohol and Herpes: Does Alcohol Affect Herpes Outbreaks?
So, does alcohol affect herpes? Is there any link between alcohol and herpes?
The answer is yes.
Alcohol can affect your current outbreak and trigger a new one by some ways:
First, alcohol weakens your immune response, making you more vulnerable to herpes infections. People with weakened immune systems often experience more severe symptoms during an outbreak. Besides, they tend to have more outbreaks of herpes than others.
Second, alcohol slows down the healing process of herpes. Also, it reduces the effectiveness of the pills and causes some side effects. For example: nausea and vomiting
Third, alcohol leads to some level of intoxication in an infected person. It leaves you dehydrated and fatigued and interacts with your herpes medications.
Finally, alcohol affects your liver. It destroys your liver cells, causing scarring of the liver. In some cases, alcohol can lead to cancer.
Other factors that can cause herpes outbreaks include:
- Colds and sunlight
- Sexual intercourse
- Hormonal changes
- Weak immune systems
- Illnesses and infections
- Other sexually transmitted diseases
- Trauma to the body and surgeries
- Foods rich in Arginine: chocolate, grains, nuts and seeds
- Acidic foods such as sugar, beer or beef
Read more: Can I Die if I Have Herpes?
Can I Drink Alcohol While Having a Herpes Outbreak?
Alcohol and herpes have a very close connection. So, can you drink alcohol while having herpes? The answer is Yes and sometimes is No. If you drink too much, it can worsen your symptoms and trigger new outbreaks. If you drink moderately (no more than 2 drinks a day), it may be okay. However, you should discuss with your doctor first if you’re using any prescription medicines.
There are no specific warnings about drinking alcohol while having herpes. However, alcohol abuse can suppress your immune system. This makes it harder for your body to fight the HSV or prevent new outbreaks. Moreover, alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of your herpes medications and cause some side effects. So if you’re suffering from herpes and you want to heal more quickly, avoid alcohol.
Read more: 7 Super Foods to Shorten Herpes Outbreaks