Hand, foot, and mouth disease is usually diagnosed by the presence of a distinctive, itchy rash appearing on the hands or feet, and mouth ulcers. This is a highly contagious disease which is caused by one of several different viruses.
A recent Lifespan.org article examines hand, foot, and mouth disease and its treatments. Only people get hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Animals do not get the disease, although cows, sheep, and pigs have a similar virus known as hoof and mouth disease. Pets cannot spread hand, foot, and mouth disease to you or your children.
It’s Peak Time for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
In the USA, Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease generally occurs in children 5 years or younger. It is possible to get the virus at any age. If you or your child has an unusual rash, contact the dermatologists at Park Avenue Dermatology for an evaluation.
The peak time for hand, foot, and mouth disease is usually August. In the USA, the viruses carrying hand, foot, and mouth disease are most active in the spring, summer, and fall.
What Are the Signs of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?
The tell-tale sign of hand, foot, and mouth disease is a blotchy, reddish rash with blister-like splotches on the hands, feet, or both. The blister-like sores can also appear inside the mouth and around the mouth area. Your dermatologist must evaluate and diagnose any rash.
A fever usually marks the start of hand, foot, and mouth disease, and lasts for a couple of days. During this time, the rash and lesions develop and become visible on the body.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease generally lasts about a week. The patient starts to feel better after about three days.
What is the Treatment for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?
The good news is that hand, foot, and mouth disease is rarely dangerous. This illness is caused by a virus and there is not really a dedicated medication to treat or cure it.
Because hand, foot, and mouth disease is so highly contagious, if your child becomes sick with it, avoid public places like schools, daycare, and even public swimming pools. Assume the virus is still contagious until the fever is gone and the blisters or sores heal.
Treatment is usually ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce the fever and help with the discomfort. It is important to remain well-hydrated, which is sometimes a challenge if there are sores inside the mouth.
How Do You Prevent Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?
You can catch hand, foot, and mouth disease by touching something like a door or handle infected with the virus, or having direct contact with someone with the disease. Once you’ve had hand, foot, and mouth disease, you do develop an immunity to the virus that caused it.
The best way to avoid getting hand, foot, and mouth disease is to thoroughly wash the hands, especially after changing diapers. Not sharing drinking glasses can also help.
It’s important to remember that there are other conditions with similar rashes, so contact Park Avenue Dermatology to schedule an appointment if you have any concerns.