Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness in infants and children. It is characterized by fever, sores in the mouth, and a rash on the hands and feet. It occurs in warmer months. It is transmitted primarily between humans by direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat, saliva, fluid from blisters, or the feces of those who have HFMD.
The following factors increase the risk of HFMD:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your doctor may need samples of bodily tissues and waste products. This can be done with:
There is no specific treatment for HFMD. Treatment is focused on relieving fever, aches, and pain associated with the illness. Medicines may be given to help relieve the pain related to the sores in the mouth.
To help reduce the risk of HFMD:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Canadian Pediatric Society
Public Health Agency of Canada
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated July 13, 2012. Accessed January 2, 2013.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/index.html. Updated May 29, 2012. Accessed January 2, 2012.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.