Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by a viral infection. It is most common in children. The symptoms for hand, foot and mouth disease are rashes on the hands and feet and also painful ulcers in the mouth and blisters around the nose.
Severe incidents of hand, foot, and mouth disease can require medical care, but generally, the condition goes away without medical intervention.

Hand, foot and mouth disease is most predominant in children under the age of 10 years old, especially with children aged 5 and under, but has been known to can affect older children and adults as well. The immune system will not yet have developed the antibodies to fight the disease in many younger children.

The viral infection that causes hand, foot and mouth disease is an enterovirus.

Unfortunately, there is currently no way to treat or prevent hand, foot and mouth disease, but it usually goes away without medical treatment within 7 to 14 days.
Outbreaks are uncommon in the United States. They are usually more prevalent in Western Pacific countries, for instance, Japan and Singapore.

The symptoms for hand, foot and mouth disease generally occur about 3 to 7 days after the first exposure to the virus.


The first notable symptom is a 24-to-48-hour fever of around 100° to 102° Fahrenheit, and usually a sore throat. These symptoms are normally followed by a variety of symptoms, such as:

A rash on the hands and soles of the feet, painful, red blisters, follow about 1 to 2 days after the fever begins
A loss of appetite
Ulcers on the tongue, throat, and mouth


In some cases, people will not have any symptoms, but can still pass on the virus to others. Hand, foot and mouth disease is usually most contagious during the first 7 days of sickness.

How do you get hand, foot and mouth disease?

These viruses commonly are normally found in the saliva, mucus, feces, and blister fluid of a person that has hand, foot and mouth disease and are usually spread when someone comes in close, personal contact with a person that has been infected. It is also spread through coughing and sneezing and touching infected objects.

Children who frequently are around other children have a higher risk of becoming infected with the virus, especially those who attend daycares and schools.

Treatment and Prevention
The best way to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease is by washing hands thoroughly with soap often.

Hand, foot and mouth disease can usually be diagnosed by a doctor during a physical examination. The doctor will look for sores or blisters on the feet, hands, and in some cases the genitals.

In some cases, a lab test may be required to confirm the diagnosis. Doctors can look for similar antibodies or viral substances in the blood and may collect throat and stool samples for testing.

Usually, over-the-counter medications can help in relieving some of the discomfort and fever. Make sure to always check with your doctor first before taking any medications.

Using a numbing mouthwash or spray can be helpful in reducing mouth pain.

Soft foods, like soup, can help when eating and make it less painful. Try to avoid hot or spicy foods. If your mouth ulcers become too uncomfortable, drinking cold water or sucking on ice cubes can help alleviate some of the discomforts.

Some tips for reducing the risk of hand, foot and mouth disease are:

Disinfecting surfaces (Lysol wipes are a great and easy way to disinfect)
Make sure to frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water and make sure not to share utensils and cups with others.

Usually, if an Adult or older child contract the virus it generally has a milder form of the illness, and in some cases can pass on the virus without even knowing they have it.