Regardless of whether you drink alcohol casually or regularly, you need to understand how consumption can sometimes affect cold sores. There are significant health implications for people who carry HSV-1, regardless of whether wine, whiskey or beer is your preferred tipple.
You most likely suffer from cold sores, possibly on a regular basis. However, you might be unaware of what can trigger a cold sore outbreak. While beer and spirits can make cold sores worse, and even increase the frequency, do you know why that actually happens?
While cold sore treatments can speed up the healing process, drinking alcohol will reduce your body’s ability to fight off the virus. You will learn how alcohol can slow down healing, understand the negative triggers, and how to handle drink consumption as part of your lifestyle.
Reasons to Avoid Drinking Beer, Wine, & Spirits with Cold Sores
Consuming alcohol with a cold sore can be problematic. You likely already know that you feel worse or experience more breakouts when you drink regularly, but the temptation is perhaps too much for you to resist. If you are in the midst of a severe outbreak, you should avoid drink at all costs.
To understand why alcohol consumption is bad, it’s necessary to understand how it affects the body. Whether you currently have a sore or are enjoying a blemish-free period, things can evolve rapidly and not for the better
Because the body requires a healthy immune system to fight off HSV 1, any compromise of that immunity is an issue.
Here are 3 ways that this can inhibit your recovery:
- Serving to decrease vitamin B in the body, alcohol can make cold sores worse.
- One of the main ingredients that are found in beer, yeast can act as a catalyst for the virus.
- Beer and wine tend to be more acidic than other drinks. Your body has an optimal pH level of 7.4, but the consumption of alcohol can push up this figure. Your pH level should ideally be mildly alkaline, but your diet and drinking habits are likely to be the main determinant.
- Your body will be more tired and run down, especially after a long and sleepless night.
Understanding Cold Sore Triggers & Alcohol
Beer and various forms of alcohol make you more vulnerable to the factors that cause a cold sore flare-up. Because HSV 1 resides in the body in a dormant state, specific actions can bring it to life. The virus will then move down the trigeminal nerve ganglion, which is located on the side of the face/near to the ear. It moves up and down this nerve, depending on whether it’s been activated.
You need a healthy immune system to keep the virus away (and to recover more quickly), but your body will have been compromised by drinking too much beer or spirits.
Listed below are several notable HSV 1 activators that can be made worse by alcohol consumption.
- Although sometimes inescapable, it is important to monitor your stress. By keeping stress at bay, you may also be able to keep HSV 1 away. If you’re under stress at home or work, avoiding drinking beer is a smart decision.
- Harsh weather conditions, including freezing cold weather and a drying heat, are detrimental. Never place your body in extremes. Too hot or too cold can result in too bad if you are not careful. This is yet another trigger prompted by immune health sensitivity.
- General illness. Returning to the critical point of maintaining a healthy immune system, taking care of your body can reduce outbreaks. This type of living standard can also keep existing sores from getting worse. However, illness coupled with alcohol can halt the healing process and result in prolonged issues.
- Never push your body to the max. This is crucial if you carry HSV 1. It is also wise to avoid drinking when you are exhausted.
Risks of Heavy Alcohol Consumption & Cold Sores
Regardless of whether you enter an evening with good intentions, things can spiral out of control. This is especially true if you decide to drink.
Although understanding HSV 1, its triggers, and how to treat, is critical heavy alcohol consumption can create new issues.
If you become heavily intoxicated, you could endanger yourself and others. The spreading of HSV 1 is one of those unfortunate ways.
Heavy consumption can lead to the following problems:
- Sharing of drinks. While sharing the same glass is always problematic, doing so with a cold sore is irresponsible and dangerous. Keep your beer to yourself and never accept an invitation to sip from other bottles or glasses.
- Sharing utensils. For the same reason noted above, sharing forks and spoons can serve to spread the virus to others. Too much alcohol can trump your better judgment, and this is one way.
- Exposing your cold sore to someone else is problematic. Not only do you run this risk of transmission but also of spreading cold sores to other parts of the face and body. Once again, intoxication will likely cause a cold sore flare up and lead to poor decisions.
It is paramount always to remember that cold sores are more difficult to treat when you’re run down. The healing process is almost halted. Irresponsible consumption of alcohol can spread HSV-1 and lead to lifestyle mistakes that compromise the health and well-being of others.
Cold Sore Treatments That Work
If you have indulged in too much alcohol what can you do to rectify the damage? Here are some prevention and treatments methods that will help you manage your situation.
- Strengthen your immune system. Vitamins are your friend in this regard. Be sure to take single form or multi-vitamins as soon as possible. A weakened immune system can be supported by eating foods that are good for cold sores.
- Drink water. Re-hydrate your body in the proper fashion. Once you can flush your systems of toxins the better defense, you can provide. Cold sores thrive when you dehydrated and run down.
- Creams and ointments. Whether you decide to take the natural or OTC route, treatments such as these are vital. You’ll find that HERP-B-GONE cream is a great choice.
Safe Drink Combinations & Recommendations
While your main goal is likely to consume alcohol without intensifying cold sore symptoms, other options are available.
If you still want to enjoy a night out with good company, you can always consume other beverages. Additionally, if you do consume alcohol, you can have treatment beverages and foods at the ready.
It is critical to remember that everything is better in moderation. While the exclusion of alcohol is the safest path, moderation is better than indulgence.
If you are in good-and-trusted company, they will not care if you trade your beer for spring water. While you might feel as though you are the weak link in the room, genuine friends will never care about your lifestyle choices.
Here are a few alternatives:
- Consume vitamin-based drinks. Not every drink that is high in vitamin C, for example, has to be powder or tablet based. Various orange juice fusion drinks can be high quality.
- Drink a beer with a healthy meal. Depending on your plans for the evening you could find yourself at dinner. If having a few drinks is your intent you can counteract the alcohol by eating vitamin-rich foods. This will serve to stabilize your immune system and potentially keep your cold sore from getting worse.
- Prepare your body beforehand. If you know that drinks will be an option at the end of the week, begin preparation. Drink plenty of water, high dose vitamin C, and administer the proper creams. Bolstering your immune system in advance can only help your body.
Is Beer Bad for Cold Sores?
While the Utopian answer would likely be a resounding “No!” it would not be an honest assessment of the situation. The fact of the matter is that alcohol, in all forms, can make cold sores worse. The more that you drink, the more your body will be compromised.
If you do insist on drinking, it is critical to be responsible. Not only responsible for how consumption impacts your mental state, but also what it can do to your cold sore.
The more you know about the HSV 1 virus, the more you will know about which activities are detrimental. You’ll also be better placed to treat and prevent outbreaks. For example, you can shorten the lifespan of cold sores from about 2 weeks to as little as 3 days with the Virulite Device. This is a state-of-the-art device that’s been approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
Understand your body better. Don’t drink when you have cold sores, and drink less when you know that you’re tired or under stress. Some people respond better to beer, whiskey, and wine than others. Beer will likely be the most damaging due to the yeast.
Cold sores and alcohol are not a winning combination. However, you are more than free to see how your body responds to different amounts until you find a happy compromise. How much alcohol can you drink without any ill effects? Test the figurative water and see for yourself.