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Wait, Do Hangover Patches *Actually* Work?

A fun, yet commonly-known fact about me is that I love reality TV. So, when I learned that the reality TV legend herself Stassi Schroeder uses hangover patches, I knew I needed to research whether these actually helped people. I’m a college student, so any knowledge about a hangover cure is basically essential. But do hangover patches actually work?

Stassi actually credited the patches, along with IV drips, as the reason she can recover from endless hours of partying, Us Weekly reported. Hangover patches are marketed as a remedy to how awful you might feel after a night of drinking 

I spoke with two experts — Dr. Kelvin Fernandez and Dave Koval — about whether or not hangover patches actually work, and here’s what I learned. 

So, are hangover patches effective? 

Surprisingly, they work! I know what your next question is — how do they work? 

“Hangover patches can work by releasing vitamins, antioxidants, and other elements through the skin, replenishing depleted nutrients resulting from alcohol consumption,” says Fernandez, a tutor and medical residency advisor. “However, their effectiveness depends strongly on the types and amounts of ingredients.”

This shouldn’t really be shocking: I don’t know about you, but I remember a few things from my biology class, one of them being that your skin is the largest organ and absorbs everything you put on it.

When looking at ingredients, hangover patches typically include a combination of nutrients, including natural antioxidants, electrolytes, and B vitamins, which all work together to restore lost nutrients and lessen hangover symptoms, says Koval, the COO of Synergy Sobriety Solutions

After checking out the ingredients of the hangover patch brand you’re looking at and ensuring it has all of the vital nutrients and vitamins you need, it’s time to apply them. That’s right, if you’re using hangover patches, apply them before drinking.

“To best use them, users should apply them before or during drinking,” Fernandez says. “Most last for about eight to 24 hours and don’t typically require replacement in the meantime.”

What else should I know about hangover patches? 

Obviously, you should always check the ingredients to make sure everything is suitable for you and there are no issues with allergens. But it’s also important to remember that these patches aren’t a magical cure for hangovers, they just alleviate symptoms, Fernandez says. “While these patches can alleviate some symptoms, they do not prevent alcohol intoxication or severe dehydration — responsible drinking remains paramount,” Fernandez says.

Additionally, some doctors, like Fernandez, recommend brands like Bytox and PatchAid. Both of these brands have a wide variety of products aside from the hangover patches, like PatchAid’s Vitamin C Vitamin Patch ($19) or Bytox’s Immune Booster Patch ($25). 

Regardless of the fact that experts do trust hangover patches, it’s still essential to watch our drinking habits. The patches are good for relieving symptoms like headaches, it won’t prevent things like stomach cancer from excessive drinking. Always remember to drink responsibly!

Julia is a national writer at Her Campus, where she mainly covers mental health, wellness, and all things relating to Gen Z. Prior to becoming a national writer, Julia was the wellness intern for Her Campus. Outside of Her Campus, Julia is a managing editor at The Temple News, Temple University's independent student-run paper. She's also the Co-Campus Correspondent of Her Campus Temple University, where she oversees content for all sections of the website. Julia is also a student intern at the Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting, where she works on the data desk and is assisting her editor in building a database. She has previously interned at The American Prospect. In her free time, Julia enjoys going to the beach as much as possible, watching reality TV (specifically Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules), and editing stories.