Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease: Symptoms & Treatments

April 25, 2018
hand food and mouth disease

Caused by a coxsackievirus, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a very contagious viral infection most commonly seen in children, but can also be passed to adults by infected children. While the viral infection itself is mild and quite common, the symptoms can cause children (adults!) to be very uncomfortable. We’ve outlined some key facts below about this contagious infection, along with some tips for keeping your family illness-free.
What Are the Symptoms?
In most cases, hand-foot-and-mouth disease will cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • A red rash on the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and, in some cases, the buttocks
  • Painful, blister-like lesions on the gums, tongue and interior of cheeks
  • Irritability in babies and toddlers

Symptoms tend to appear within three to six days of exposure to the virus. Fever is usually the first sign, followed by a sore throat, poor appetite and malaise. A day or two after these symptoms appear, sores may appear in the mouth and a rash may develop on the hands and feet.

When to Visit PhysicianOne Urgent Care

Since hand-foot-and-mouth disease is caused by a viral infection, there is no specific treatment for the virus itself, and in the vast majority of instances, the disease is a minor illness that gets better on its own within a few days. It is important to visit your local PhysicianOne Urgent Care if symptoms worsen or show no improvement after a few days, or if a sore throat or mouth sores prevent your child from drinking enough fluids During your visit, the provider can perform tests to make sure oral lesions are not a result of some other type of infection.
If a provider confirms that symptoms are a result of hand-foot-and-mouth disease, he or she may prescribe a topical oral anesthetic to help alleviate the pain of mouth sores. Non-aspirin over-the-counter pain medications can also be used to reduce the severity of symptoms.
You and your child can reduce the risk of contracting hand-foot-and-mouth disease by washing your hands frequently and avoiding people who are already infected.
We understand being sick or injured is not convenient, and it’s not always easy to access your primary care doctor right away, or appropriate to head to the Emergency Department. PhysicianOne Urgent Care is here to help. We offer walk-in care, extended hours and the immediate treatment of urgent, but not life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Contact us at 1.855.349.2828 or visit the PhysicianOne Urgent Care nearest you.

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Throughout the visit I felt like the staff really cared. The doctor took his time talking with me about my symptoms, and I felt like he listened to all my concerns and took that into consideration when recommending the right treatment. Thank you!
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Hamden, CT
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