What's in this article?
- 1 What is hand foot and mouth disease?
- 2 How do you spread hand foot and mouth disease?
- 3 What is the medical term for foot and mouth disease?
- 4 Can adults get foot and mouth disease?
- 5 What causes hand foot and mouth disease?
- 6 What Are the Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?
- 7 Commonly Confused With Foot and Mouth Disease
- 8 Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease look like
- 9 Treatment for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
What is hand foot and mouth disease?
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an illness that causes sores in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. The sores may be painful. The illness usually doesn’t last more than a week or so.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is common in children but can also occur in adults. It can occur at any time of year but is most common in the summer and fall.
It is not the same as other diseases that have similar names: foot-and-mouth disease (sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease) or mad cow disease. These diseases almost always occur in animals.
How do you spread hand foot and mouth disease?
Spread of hand, foot and mouth disease. This infection is spread by direct contact with fluid from the skin blisters, nose and throat discharges (including saliva, sputum or nasal mucus), droplets (sneezing, coughing) and faeces (stools).
What is the medical term for foot and mouth disease?
Hand foot and mouth disease a mild, contagious viral infection common in young children is characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is most commonly caused by a coxsackievirus.
Can adults get foot and mouth disease?
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever, mouth sores, and a skin rash.
What causes hand foot and mouth disease?
Strains of coxsackievirus, most commonly coxsackievirus A16, cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. Viruses can be easily spread from person to person. You or your child may contract hand, foot, and mouth disease from coughs or sneezes. You can also catch this disease by touching surfaces that have traces of the virus.
What Are the Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?
The symptoms begin to develop three to seven days after the initial infection. This period is known as the incubation period. When symptoms do appear, you or your child may experience:
- a fever
- a poor appetite
- a sore throat
- a headache
- painful, red blisters in the mouth
- a red rash on the hands and the soles of the feet
A fever and sore throat are usually the first symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease. The characteristic blisters and rashes show up later, usually one or two days after the fever begins.
Commonly Confused With Foot and Mouth Disease
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), which affects cattle, sheep, and swine. However, the two diseases are caused by different viruses and are not related. Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.
Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease look like
Treatment for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
In most cases, the infection will go away without treatment in seven to 10 days. However, your doctor may recommend certain treatments to help ease symptoms until the disease has run its course. These can include:
- prescription or over-the-counter topical ointments to soothe blisters and rashes
- pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to relieve headaches
- medicated syrups or lozenges to ease painful sore throats
Certain at-home treatments can also provide relief from hand, foot, and mouth disease symptoms. You can try the following home remedies to help make blisters less bothersome:
- Suck on ice or popsicles.
- Eat ice cream or sherbet.
- Drink cold beverages.
- Avoid citrus fruits, fruit drinks, and soda.
- Avoid spicy or salty foods.
Swishing warm salt water around in the mouth may also help relieve the pain associated with mouth blisters and throat sores. Do this several times a day or as often as needed.