Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease: Symptoms, Causes And Care Tips

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a kind of infection caused by a virus. This is contagious and usually gets treated on its own within a few days.

Gandharv Gulati
Written by: Gandharv GulatiUpdated at: Jun 30, 2020 11:51 IST
Hand, Foot And Mouth Disease: Symptoms, Causes And Care Tips

You must have heard about various skin infections but have you heard of the hand, foot and mouth disease? This is a lesser-known contagious infection that can transmit from one person to another. This infection is mostly seen in kids and it causes rashes on hand or feet and mouth blisters. Usually, it subsides on its own in a few days, even if it doesn’t, it can be medically treated. Know more about this disease in this article. What are hand, foot, and mouth disease? This disease affects both hand, foot and mouth and that is where it has got its name from. It is a contagious infection caused by ‘coxsackievirus’ or other viruses from the Enterovirus genus. If an infected person comes in close contact with a healthy person, they may also get infected. The medium of transmission could be hand-to-hand contact, saliva, feces or respiratory secretions. Though this disease is commonly seen in kids below 5 years, adults may also get this infection. It causes rashes on hands & feet and sores or blisters in the mouth. In most cases, this is a mild infection that goes away within a week but the condition depends on person to person.


Also Read: Viral Infections Cure: Fight Viral Infections With These 7 Antiviral Herbs

Causes of Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease

The main cause of this contagious disease is a strain of coxsackievirus. It is one of the viruses of the ‘Enteroviruses’ group. Most commonly, this infection is caused by coxsackievirus A16. A healthy person, especially kids, can contract with this virus if exposed to the infected person’s:

  • Respiratory droplets(coughing/sneezing)
  • Saliva
  • Sweat
  • Faeces
  • Fluid from blisters


Visible Symptoms of Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease

It will take about three to seven days after getting the infection for the signs and symptoms to get visible. The symptoms include:

    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of appetite
    • Rashes on hands and feet
    • Painful and pus-carrying blisters in the mouth
    • Irritability
    • In some cases, there is also slight ear pain, which can be treated with these home remedies: 

Who Are At Risk?

Anyone can get infected with the virus and catch this contagious infection. However, children are at maximum risk. Since they aren’t really careful about touching any surface or coming in close contact with anyone, they are an easy target for the virus. Children of playgroups are most affected as they go to schools and play in the park.

Another reason why children easily get viral infections is because of their developing immune system. Their body is not resistant to these viruses and therefore gets targeted easily. Older children and adults with weaker immunities are also susceptible to this infectious disease.

Also Read: What Is The Difference Between Viral Throat Infection And Bacterial Throat Infection?

Care Tips To Prevent Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease 


Here are some tips to prevent children from getting this infection:

  • Teach them good hygiene habits. Tell them to not touch any external object or surface. Also, wash hands frequently.
  • Teach them the right technique for hand-washing. Ask them to wash their hands before and after eating, post using the washroom, etc.
  • Disinfect their clothes after coming home.
  • Clean the surfaces and disinfect their toys.

Whenever you see any symptoms of this disease such as fever, sore throat, rashes and blisters, consult a doctor and get the kid-tested. Follow all the guidelines given by the doctor for better treatment.

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