Dr. Dean

Does Fruit Cause Genital Herpes Attacks?

Posting Date: 08/14/2000

Darla: Could eating fruit trigger an outbreak of genital herpes? I'm eating a lot of summer fruit like nectarines and grapes, and I'm breaking out much more than I usually do.

Dr. Dean: I'm not aware of, and I have no reason to believe, there's any relationship between eating fruit and having outbreaks of genital herpes.

Visit the Herpes Center

There is a link between irritation and herpes outbreaks, though. I think it's likely that along with increasing your fruit consumption, the summer brought more exposure to sun into your life or more sexual activity, or something is stressing you out. Any of this can be irritating, making you vulnerable to herpes.

Herpes does seem to be seasonal. Some herpes sufferers have a major attack and then don't have any for years. Some get a cluster of them -- two or three or four in a season -- and then don't have any at other times of the year.

There are anti-herpes drugs that are helpful. They will shorten the duration of the outbreak -- not by much, but listen, five days of suffering is still better than seven.

If you can feel an attack coming on, as many people do, or if you have outbreaks seasonally, you will be able to get away with taking the pills during your vulnerable times only. That way you can avoid taking them everyday.

By doing research on you can arm yourself for a visit to your doctor. You can go in and ask for the drugs you think will help you.