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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: A Mother’s Perspective

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family photo

By Kara Stephens

Memorial Day weekend last year, I was changing my daughter, Kinsey, when I noticed a blister on her finger and a few red marks near her diaper line and on her knees.  I really didn’t worry too much about it at first, thinking it may have been some sort of mild allergic reaction or bug bites from playing outside all day.  Later that afternoon, she took a drink from her sippy cup and began to cry as she shoved her hands into her mouth, desperately trying to figure out what was causing the pain.  Thinking it was just the budding of new baby teeth I went and got some Orajel from the medicine cabinet. Only when I went to apply it I noticed the pain wasn’t caused by her teeth, but several blisters that had formed on the back of her throat and tongue.   At this moment I knew something was wrong and all of my epidemiology and infectious disease coursework came flooding back to me.  Remembering a case study I had read, I suspected the low-grade fever she had for the last day or two (I innocently thought was due to teething) and the blisters were likely a result of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).  That night I saw the number of blisters on her tiny hands multiply as the rash spread to the area around her mouth and legs, and at this point she was refusing to eat or drink anything – making it even more difficult for her to sleep.  As you can imagine after a night trying to soothe our inconsolable toddler, my husband and I were relieved Kinsey’s pediatrician was able to see her the following morning.  I told him Kinsey’s symptoms and he confirmed that she in fact had HFMD and provided us with a few suggestions.  We also learned a few tips along the way.  Since we are currently in HFMD season again, I would like to share these tips and facts with anyone who may find themselves caring for a child with HFMD.

 Severe Cases of HFMD in the U.S. From November 2011 to February 2012, CDC received reports of severe HFMD in Alabama, California, Connecticut, and Nevada. What makes these cases unusual?HFMD is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and young children.The symptoms are usually mild and include fever, mouth sores, and rash. In the U.S., HFMD occurs most often from spring to fall.The new HFMD cases were unusual because: they were caused by coxsackievirus A6.Until recently,coxsackievirus A6 was not commonly associated with HFMD in the U.S.they occurred during winter months,there were more adults than expected,the rash and fever were more severe and more people were hospitalized than with typical HFMDWhy is this information important?CDC continues to receive reports of severe HFMD in the U.S.So far, CDC has identified coxsackievirus A6 in HFMD patients from the Northeast, South, Mid-west, and West regions.No deaths have been reported.  It is likely that coxsackievirus A6 is circulating widely throughout the U.S.  If you suspect that you or someone in your family has severe HFMD, you should contact a healthcare provider. So what is HFMD?

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), or any disease for that matter, can sound frightening to any parent.  However, HFMD is actually very common this time of year — that is, from spring to autumn. While anyone can get it, HFMD typically affects infants and children younger than 5 years of age.  Symptoms of HFMD include fever, mouth sores, and rash.

What were Kinsey’s signs and symptoms?

Well, in retrospective, we knew Kinsey had a low-grade fever about two days before I noticed the blisters on her finger, diaper line, and knees.   She never seemed to be in any real discomfort during this time until later that day when I noticed the sores in her mouth.  That evening it seemed as if the infection shot into overdrive and blisters began rapidly popping up everywhere, including some uncommon places like around her mouth and upper legs.  The good news is she was back to her spunky-self in about 4 days.

feet rashThe rash is usually on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.  However, like Kinsey’s case and as CDC highlights, the rash can appear in other areas as well, such as the knees, elbows, buttocks, or genital area.

As for Kinsey’s mouth sores, they looked just like canker sores, only smaller.  If you have ever had a canker sore, you can probably understand how painful it would be to have 15-20 of them on the back of your tongue and throat.  These sores caused Kinsey the most discomfort – making it difficult for her to eat and drink over the next 3-4 days.  Learn more about HFMD signs and symptoms here.

How did she get such a nasty bug?

HFMD spreads from an infected person to others through:

  • close personal contact, such as kissing or hugging,
  • the air by coughing and sneezing,
  • contact with feces, and
  • touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them.

father showing daughter how to wash handsSo how can we prevent our children from getting HFMD?

There is no vaccine to protect against HFMD.  However, you can reduce your risk by:

  • Washing our hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers and using the toilet.
  • Disinfecting dirty surfaces and soiled items, including toys.
  • Avoiding close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing eating utensils or cups with people with HFMD.

If you are a parent with multiple children or even if your child goes to daycare or school, you probably know how difficult it can be to keep your child from kissing and hugging their siblings and friends.  Therefore, we were really strict on making sure our daughters didn’t share their utensils and cups, and made sure we all were practicing good hand-washing habits.

child playing with toysLikewise, if your home is anything like mine, I’m sure you can agree that toys seem to be overly abundant at times – and this was definitely one of those times.  To keep us from having to disinfect a home full of toys every night, we selected a few toys for “free reign”, locked the rest in the playroom, and closed them off entirely for about a week.  We then separated the remaining toys into two batches so our girls would always have something to play with while the other set of toys “took a bath”. We found it easiest to disinfect one batch during nap, and the other at night so there was always a clean set available for them to play with.  I also put a bin out of my oldest daughter’s reach for any toys that we knew Kinsey played with throughout the day to ensure they were disinfected before our oldest touched them.  CDC has specific disinfecting instructions here.   

Is there any treatment for HFMD

From a mother’s perspective, lots of love, infant Tylenol, and warm baths were the best treatment for Kinsey’s rash.  As far as treating her mouth sores, we avoided all salty and acidic foods like crackers and orange juice, used lots of Orajel (the cool cucumber kind), fed her rice crispies after they had been softened in milk, and kept the Pedialyte freezer pops coming.  Kinsey didn’t eat a whole lot the first 2 or 3 days due to the pain, but we knew it was crucial that Kinsey take-in fluids to stay hydrated, so we focused on making sure she ate the Pedialyte freezer pops and gave her lemon flavored sports drink whenever she would take it.  Within 3 or 4 days she was starting to eat more.  We actually ended up freezing some GoGurt into yogurt popsicles which were a big hit.

Kara's daughter KinseyAs you can see (picture right), Kinsey pulled through like a champ!

What should you do?

Trust your intuition – only you really KNOW your child.   If you believe your child’s health is at risk, contact your health care provider immediately.  Often times all we need is the reassurance we are doing all that we can to soothe our little ones, and for those sleepless nights – a little pat on the back to let us know it will all be over soon!

For additional information, please visit CDC’s HFMD Web site and feature and listen to the HFMD podcast.

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117 comments on “Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: A Mother’s Perspective”

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this site is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

    great informative article and thank you for the suggestions on the treatment of HFMD…i feel like if either one of my kids ever came down with the disease, i will have a better understanding of how to deal with it. thank you!

    That’s so interesting, especially that they do get sores elsewhere. My 2 year son broke out with this 4 weeks ago (we’re assuming from his dayhome) and now I all of a sudden I’ve broken out in a very, very bad adult version. The adult version is far worse and debilitating than the the child version. My entire body from scalp, ears, neck, face, mouth, body, legs, hands and feet are completely covered. I’m also weak in the joints, have severe headaches, dizziness and it just feels like a really bad flu. I do not wish this on anyone as an adult. It’s terrible, especially when looking after small children. I have a 6 month old as well and we’re just basically waiting for her to start showing symptoms. The positive about all of this, I guess, is that I’m told you generally build up immunity after first exposure. So let’s hope this is the last of it in our home. And now, I’m off to sterilize toys and surfaces as suggested by this article and something I hadn’t even considered.

    This was a great way to understand HFMD. Thank you for sharing your story!!
    I will remember Kinsey if this comes up on my boards.
    Advanced Nurse Practitioner Student studying for my boards..

    @Judith, you are correct. Active immunity results when exposure to a disease organism triggers the immune system to produce antibodies to that disease. Exposure to the disease organism can in fact occur through infection with the disease itself (resulting in natural immunity) as you have mentioned. A great resource for families regarding immunity is CDC’s Web site featuring the “Immune Platoon,”

    Hope you feel better soon.


    Thanks for sharing. My four year old son was recently infected with HFMD. He initially had fever out of no where. The following day he complaint of sore throat. I thought it was just a regular sore throat but it must be severe. Took him to his pediatrician and there we found out that he had HFMD. It is heartbreaking for me to see my JJ cry everytime he swallows. Antacid gurgle helped and of course ice pops along with Acetaminophen or ibuprofen. He got over it, but it sure was one of the traumatizing event of his early age.

    – Jennifer

    Our 1 yr old is currently in the midst of HFMD . Last night was our second sleepless night and we are looking forward to this horrible disease to finally give our little guy a break! (Today is his birthday) Thanks for the go-gurt popsicle idea…we will be trying that this afternoon. Instead of orajel, we have been using the Malox and benedryl oral rinse for some relief…

    Thank you so much for your blog. In my six years as a mother I had never heard of HFMD, until last month when it started spreading through my daughters preschool like wild fire. My four year old and two year old got it while my six year old was spared. The doctors were not very informative so I had to go online for information. It is important to more that HFMD can affect each kiddo differently, with bumps showing up in different areas not just hands, feet and mouth. Fortunately kids do bounce back quickly!

    When my daughter was about a year old, I took her to the pediatrician’s office for a well check appointment. My son was three at the time. Both of my children played with the toys in the pediatrician’s waiting room before we were called into the examination room. Some days later they both had symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease.

    I called the pediatrician’s office to inquire whether they had seen many cases of hand, foot and mouth disease. The receptionist said, “Oh yes.” I then told her my children contracted the virus from their waiting room toys. She then said, “Oh no.” I said, “Oh yes.” She continued to deny this was possible. I explained to her neither of my children had been around other children in the previous days to our appointment and were not in daycare or preschool. She got rather quiet and couldn’t wait to get off the telephone.

    It was a tough but valuable lesson. From that point on, I would never let my children play with waiting room toys, and I always brought toys or books from home. After some months the pediatrician wised up and removed the toys from her waiting room altogether.

    Thank you for posting this informative blog! An RN that I work with commented that her child had recently come down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. I remembered hearing about the viral illness years prior but needed to reacquaint myself with the diagnosis. Apparently it’s very common in daycares and schools.

    @Shannon, Thank you for the oral rinse tip. I hope your little guy was still able to enjoy his birthday!


    My husband had this back in April, he works for our public school system going in and out of the schools daily for his job. He was running a fever of 101.3 and was too weak to walk and he stayed in bed three days. When we made it to the doctor a few days after he felt better he was told it was coxsackivirus. He had the white spots on his hands and feet too. We were shocked to find out that he at the age of 48 could get something like this which is supposed to be confined to children. So yes adults can get hand, foot, mouth disease too. Be careful!

    Was there anything you put on the blister sores on her diaper area. Those are the ones that are the worse for my little girl. Or would you just leave them be and let them go away on their own?

    Hi Crystal, as for the pain we gave her infant’s Tylenol based on the directions provided. We also used Extra Strength Desitin (really thick and doesn’t rub off as easily in the diaper as the other creams) on the blisters around her diaper line to keep the diaper from chaffing the area/causing more damage to the skin.
    When in doubt, always seek advice from your daughter’s pediatrician.
    Hope she gets well soon!

    My son just is 12month and in the past month has gotten hand foot and mouth 2x and he now seems to have it yet again. Is this possible? could it have not really gone away? what am I doing wrong? could this be the sign of something else?

    Thank you!! My son has been inconsolable I was so worried as the docs basically said it wouldnt cause him
    Much discomfort when it really has. I was talking myself into thinking it was something else!! But now reading this, it’s basically made me see it for what is it. HFMD !! And regardless of what docs say he is in pain ( with the ulcers of course) and the screaming IS normal !!! Must be ebbing slowly to the worst of it! Then I’ve the recovery to
    Look forward too ( as does he) and I may get some sleep!! ( until his 3 yr old sister gets it lol)

    my daughter is 18 months old she caught the virus a month ago and it was the worst ever now she has it again i need to kno is there any mouth spray or anything to help the sores she is in soo much pain

    My 1 year old developed this condition just over a week ago and recovered really quickly. He developed a rash on his legs and nasty sores below his mouth. The sores cleared in about 4 days. Really quickly. Then my 2 year old daughter developed similar sores on her mouth and also had the rash on her body. The doctor diagnosed hand foot and mouth disease, although she would not open her mouth for us to check for sores. She also cleared up quickly. Now I have developed the condition. Although 10 times worse. I first had a fever 6 days ago for 2 days. Then the next day my feet were extremely itchy. I woke up to a rash all over my foot. Then the sores started on my face too. I also had a few sores in my mouth and a sore throat. Today is day 6 and the sores are clearing on my face. The feet are very nasty looking but improving also. I also have small blisters and red dots on the tips of my fingers. Painful a few days ago, but feeling better now. This is one nasty disease in adults. My children seemed to cope quite well.

    Great article! I’m 16 years old and I currently have HFMD. I know, its very rare for kids my age to get. But last week I had my wisdom teeth removed and I was taking painkillers and an antibiotic. I soon realized that I had dry socket, and I went to the oral surgeon where they packed my holes with a numbing packet. Later that night I began getting the ulcers. I woke up the next day and my lips were HUGE. I got a drink of water and it felt like I had just swallowed a golf ball with cactus spikes on it. However I did not get the rash on my body, which the doc said is possible. Although really strange, the virus had NOTHING to do with my surgery. CRAZY BUT PAINFUL STUFF.

    Oh yeah! And I’ve been using chloroseptic spray to at least help the ulcers in my mouth. A salt water rinse seemed to help a bit. But, the throat sores are WAY more painful and the doc is allowing me to use vikadin so that I’m not completely miserable.

    @ Susan: Sorry to hear that. Yes, it is possible for your son to get HFMD again, unfortunately. Just like with colds, your child will develop immunity to the specific virus that made him sick, but there are many viral strains that can cause the disease.

    You can take precautions such as washing your baby’s hands regularly, washing and disinfecting toys and other objects that might have germs on them, and trying to avoid infected children. However, it is impossible to guarantee that your child won’t catch the disease if he’s exposed to an infected person.

    @ Stephanie: You can try orajel or there are some oral numbing sprays (chloriseptic) you can purchase at your local pharmacy. When in doubt, always contact your child’s health care provider.


    My 3 year old was just diagnosed today with HFMD, she has a red pimply like rash all over her body, no blisters as of yet, and nothing in her mouth. Her pediatrician said that their is a new strain out that doesn’t follow the normal pattern of the disease! She’s so misreable and itchy! Hoping to get her better soon!

    Any more suggestions of what to put on the sores on skin (not mouth)? Diaper area and all otter places?my 2 and 5 yr old girls have it.aquaphor or calamine?

    This has been the most informative site I have found! Thank you! A few days ago my 4y/o complained of a sore throat. Yesterday he had small red pimply bumps all over his fore arms,hands and diaper area(not feet). Today there were many more and had turned into ulsers. Trip to ER positive for hand foot mouth. The rash can be anywhere and every where!

    My baby had this the dr told us. I am sad not much i could do for her. Now i got it i have itchy bumps all over hands feet and face the first day i thought it was the flu i was in so much pain being a single mom of a one year old is hard i hope she doesnt get it back.

    thanks dear for yr valuable advice.i’m going through these phase and was worried.that was a relief.thanks again..

    My 18 month old son has had this for 6 days now, and it has been AWFUL! We have had 2 completely sleepless nights, much worse than anything from when he was an infant. He has at least 40 blisters per hand! But thankfully not many in his mouth.

    We wanted to find a more natural method to help his poor blistered hands and feet.
    We have been giving him children’s Advil regularly and I have concocted a paste out of strongly brewed and chilled chamomile tea and oat flour. I apply it to his hands and feet once or twice a day just before plunking him in a quick bath with more oat flour in it. It seems to really calm the pain and help with the blisters.

    I’m going through that stage right now. My daughter doesn’t want to eat or drink anything. It’s worrying me & stressing me out too . I’m 7 1/2 months pregnant as well , every time I see her starving herself & I know she’s in pain just hurt me more

    My 5 year old started this whole mess Friday… woke up with a 102.1 temp crying that her belly hurt. Gave her motrin, figured it was constipation since she has digestive issues. Temp came back down to 99, sent her to school. Well, school calls me a few hours later, she’s in tears again about her belly and her throat is sore, come get her. Take her straight to the ER, temp is 104 there, they say, ‘virus’. It’ll go away. Took her to her PCP, same thing, check for strep, negative.

    Saturday, still mellow, tummy feeling better, sore throat. Temp is controled with motrin. Sunday, layed low, about the same, did another strep test since she’s still running a fever and says she has a sore throat. Negative. Monday am, get up, she’s back to normal (or so I thought) I noticed little bumps on her hands. Thought it was something she got into, didn’t think of it. Then last night in the bath, noticed them on her butt also. Again, thought it was just a rash.

    Get up this am and BAM. Hands are covered, on the sides of her big toes on both feet, butt… covered in little red bumps. The ones on her hands are growing. Her mouth only has 2 ulcers in it, but her lower gums are awfully red.

    Still waiting to get to the PCP again this afternoon, but pretty dang sure it’s HFMD. Called the school, they say all they’ve had was strep. So it’ll be interesting to see what goes on. Just pissed we were IN the office 2 days ago and he didn’t catch it.

    Is there a test for this? Or just visual signs?

    My 6 month old son has it for the second time this summer. He was only 3 1/2 months old the first time and now again. He is crying non stop and refuses to eat. The worst part is there isn’t really anything the doctor can do about it. I had it when he did in June and it was awful. So whoever says you only get it once is totally wrong.

    My 10 month old has this and it is awful! I was wondering about his pacifier? He takes one a lot and wa wondering what I should do with them? I figure that it has it on them but can’t take them away….. Any suggestions?

    my grandson had this back in dec of last year and he lost all his finger nails and toe nails. plus the skin on hands and feet peeled off. Looks like it might be back again. now his mother seems to have it. One thing to keep in mind is it remains active in their bowels for a long time after the symptoms are gone.

    Wow, I just caught this three days ago and now that I finally wasn’t knocked out by my constant headache and fever, I was able to look up a little information on this pesky virus.

    I’m trying to think of how both my sister and I caught this. She came down from college for Columbus Day weekend, went back on Monday and she got sick I believe it was Wednesday. Come Friday, and I suddenly had a fever and a sore throat! We’re 19 and 23 respectively.

    Does anyone know of any medications for the sores in the throat? Or how about the genitalia cause I have them there too and its very painful.

    My 3yrs old son had a hand foot and mouth disease since 8/10/2012 on monday, today is the 8th days already, is the disease consider fully cover? I have my 2nd 1 month old baby, can i put them together already? Is the hand foot and mouth disease will still contagious to other child after a week?

    This has help me so daughter kinsley just started developing this bad rash around her by each day got worse.she wasnt eating good like sure usually does..i took her to the hospital and that is what they said she had i have been a worry wart since freaking out reading different things because her hands and feet arent bad at all so i was thinking it might be something else but reading this makes me feel alot better i hope my baby gets better soon

    Reading the great information above as I go through day 4 of HFMD. As a 36 year old father that watched their 2 year old son go through it 6 months ago, I am appreciating how tuff kids can be. My feet are on fire. Didn’t know adults could get it but the symptoms were obvious in my case. Feeling unwell Monday night, fever and flu like symptoms. Felt much better late Tuesday night but had a sore throat and itchy, burning feet. Noticed red welt like marks and hands and feet and a couple on my bottom lip and nose Wednesday morning that progressively got worse through the day. Went to the doctor today and confirmed HFMD. Sitting here now with feet and hands on fire waiting for a comet to end it all!!! Worst part is not being able to cuddle wife and son so hope it clears up soon. Might need a tea spoon of cement as well!!!

    I have had this Disease 2 times now and it’s defiantly not fun, I’ve had it at the age of 12 and now at the age of 17 please keep your kids safe and get them to wash there hands alot and don’t play with any toys at doctor offices or dentist offices.

    My son was exposed to the viruslast week at daycare. ..he goes twice a week. I recognized the symptoms after he got blisters around his mouth because he had hfmd less than 6 months ago. He never ran a noticeable fever each time. He got blisters all over the backs of his legs inside diaper area with a handful on his trunk, feet, hands, and lips. Ive gotten it both times from him and have a fever over 101 for about 3 days, achy body neck and back, blisters in my throat, some on feet. Its worse than the flu for me. Everyone reacts differently. I called his daycare and they said they had several cases and hes not allowed to return until a dr says hes no longer contagious. The problem with that is some people are still contagious several weeks after they no longer have symptoms. I also think daycares can give courtesy calls to parents so they can decide whether they want to risk exposure. Btw the daycare said im still required to pay for the time my son is out. Im not happy about any of this.

    Thank you for this article! I am going through this right now and after a day and a half of feeling completely hellpless, this read made me feel a lot better considering the pediatrician didn’t leave me with much info or comfort!

    My son, who is 4 years old, just contracted the virus from his uncle, who is 3 and in preschool. So far the fever has happened and now the blisters have reared they’re ugly heads. The only complaint he has though is that he’s really itchy. Is there anything I can give him or a type of lotion that will help?? I hate to see my baby like this. I’ve tried calamine lotion but it doesn’t seem to help too much.

    I am 44 and this disease has been kicking my butt for 6 days. It is awful. first night i started fevers, had fevers, chills, headache for a couple of days, strep test was negative, which i went to get when the sore throat came. then the hands started turning red and splotchy, then the feet, blisteres between my toes, the sides of my feet really hurt, hard to walk, the blistery rash is in my mouth, nostrils, lips face and spread all over my body. it is so miserable. I am not sure I have hit the worst yet because it seems to just keep getting worse. really depressing.

    My 15 year old daughter also had the burning and itchy feet and hands. I spent one night getting up every 1 1/2 hours to pack ice on the bottom of her feet. She could not walk normally for 3 days. We are on day 6 and though the symptoms are better she still has slightly swollen toes, some burning/itching on her feet, and 2 fingertips are numb. She never had a fever but had fever like symptoms and she also had some blisters in her throat. It is an awful and frustrating illness at any age.

    My son just went thru the same thing as your daughter went thru. Right now he seem getting a lot better and all. But the only thing that I am now concern is once the Rash gone, will there remain some scar from the rash all over his body? HE just had this HFMD recently Saturday July 18, 2014. Right now his temp is normal and able to eat and drink. Be himself now but the only left of my concern is that scar will be remain forever? I surely hope not. MY son is going be two in next 2 month. My first child as well. Please let me know thanks!

    I am really bummed to read about all the adults who have gotten this. Our Dr said it was really rare for adults to get it. My 8th month old is covered in bumps which I am sure will end up being blisters…we are on day 4 and although body ras
    H is worse, he is feeling a little better and eating again!

    My boyfriend is 17 and there was a recent outbreak of HFMD in our area. He has some small, water-like blisters on his fingers, and very few small red bumps on his toes. I am pregnant and worried about contracting it. Could it be HFMD?

    We’re in day 3 of HFMD with my 2.5 year old. She never really had a fever, but the massive blisters covering her feet are just terrible, she can’t walk they’re so bad. She managed to sleep for about 5 hours last night, thank fully as none the previous night. I didn’t realize it could be so bad as everyone says their kids who had it were fine, just some red bumps. Not us I tell you! I’m worried my 5 and 6 year old will catch it, but so far they show no signs. I really hope I don’t catch it either, as my dr said adults don’t get it, but I’ve heard of a few having it. Very troubling to hear someone getting it 4 weeks later..

    I have the misfortune of catching HFMD from my toddler as a 35-year old. The mouth sores are by far the worst part of the infection and has severely limited me in what I can eat and drink, out to sheer pain.

    My best advise to parents (assuming their kids are going through what I am): AVOID FOOD AND DRINKS with SUGAR. Avoiding acidic food and drinks as well, of course, like tomatoes or oranges. The article says to avoid salty foods, I guess because maybe it seems logical, but salty foods aren’t an issue relative to sugar, acid and non- lubricated foods. For food and drinks with sugar (with exception to ice cream which glides down well thanks to milk fat and doesn’t stick) I have to immediately take sips of water or milk to keep the sugar off the wounds and being overcome with pain.

    Stick with lubricated and slippery foods like noodles. Avoid foods or grains that could stick to a sore (or scratch it) unless lubricated with milk, butter or fat. Food with high fat content like ground beef goes down well in comparison to grains (not to say it still won’t hurt).

    Take ibuprofen or pain remedy 20 minutes before eating.

    For adults who have the misfortune of catching the illness, my last piece of advise: spoil yourself and go out for negiri or sashimi sushi (NOT the rolls). Fatty salmon and tuna goes down well in comparison to other foods (but again, not to say it won’t hurt).

    Good luck!

    I’m a 37-yr old female. I became symptomatic 6 days ago on Tuesday, when the corners of my mouth split and became oozy and crusty. Over the next 2 days I began developing small blisters on my lips, sore throat, large swollen glands, body aches, chills. I was diagnosed at an after hours clinic Friday before our last summer long weekend in Canada. Since Friday, I have also had severe lower back pain.

    On Sunday I thought I was getting better but by late Sunday night I noticed a few more blisters emerging on my hands and a few on my back. My mouth is absolutely terrible: covered in pus-filled blisters that just won’t go away.
    Today, Monday, I woke up to more blisters emerging around my mouth, severe pain around my face, back pain again, and general lethargy.

    Quarantined myself from my kids, who start school tomorrow. Neither show any signs and we continuously check. Have been clinical about all of us santitizing hands, surfaces, toys, door knobs etc. emphasizing not sharing food and drinks. Doing everything possible to contain the spread. Difficult with a young 2-yr old but he’s catching on. Upset he can’t cuddle with his mum 🙂

    By far the worst illness I’ve had to battle so far. I hope tomorrow brings some signs that it’s letting up a little. Right now, with the state of my lips and open ulcers in my mouth, drinking water is about the only option left.

    I’m lucky to be married to a former virologist, so I’m under excellent care. Pity he can’t do anything for me though! Viruses run their course. Thats what they do.

    Going through 3rd round of HFMouth with my kids, hoping #4 doesn’t get it… Strange observation, not sure if related… In 2 of my kids it seems that they are blistering anywhere they had a small cut or abrasion… Every slight scratch or mosquito bite turned inflamed and blister like as soon as the fever broke and the blisters formed on hands and feet… Strange part is that some of my nieces also had this blistering of their cuts and they never experienced symptoms of the virus… Anyone know if this could happen from the virus?

    Kim, my two year old son is just getting over HFM and he had the exact same thing happen to him. He had healing abrasions on both his knees and one elbow and these spots blistered the worst. I am not sure why this occurred but it’s definitely related to the virus.

    My 2 year old son had a wound on his elbow prior to HFM. It blistered in clusters all around the edge of his scab. No other clusters on his body. Just around his previous wound. Glad to say he is on the healing side of this virus.

    I got it, 43 YO, got it from my son’s 18 yo friend or 4 yo step brother, they both had it recently. Hands, feet, sore throat and nostrils. Had the fever and really bad headache evening of 9/5. Fever was so bad I was hallucinating. Saturday the blisters came. It’s Sunday and the blisters on my hands are so itchy, my feet are on fire. Wife had it a few weeks back but symptoms were so minor. This is awful, blisters on hands have popped from scratching. Location is NC.

    Location SC. My 2 1/2 year old son had a sudden 103 degree fever 4 days ago and
    Rash on his belly. His fever persists at around 100, but the rash spread to legs, butt, feet, hands and mouth. His rash looks like red clusters of bumps and flat red spots on his palms and soles. Some of the bumps are blisters. He says his tongue hurts. Overall, he has not seemed to be in pain from the rash/blisters and has eaten and been drinking normally. We give him Tylenol for fever and pain. His energy level is normal now, but the rash/blisters looks really bad. Two days ago, my 6 year old daughter started to show symptoms – 103 degree fever and fatigue and sore throat. Then yesterday she has bumps like any bites on her hands and feet. Her rash/bumps are itchy. Tonight she can’t sleep because her throat hurts and her hands and feet itch so much. I have her Motrin the. Tylenol and Claritin. I’ve tried ice for the itching – it wasn’t bad until the middle of the night – what else can I do to relieve her itching?
    After reading these posts, I am dreading this virus and hoping I don’t get it. Washing hands – washing hands!!

    23 yo female. Caught hfmd from my 7 mo old baby girl. She handled everything well, slight fever, barely noticed the rash, no ulcers in her mouth. Then it hit me, and I’ve never been more miserable. When her pediatrician diagnosed her, I specifically asked if adults were susceptible, and I was told it was very rare. I should have known better, lol. Terrible headache to begin with, turned to chills and fever with nausea and extreme light headedness, then came the rash. Oh my stars, the most obnoxious health issue I’ve dealt with, to date. My scalp, my face, my hands, my feet. It’s just getting worse, over the course of today. They feel swollen, itchy, painful, and the pins and needles/numbness. This is day 3, up with little sleep so far :/ I am so uncomfortable. I’ve tried oatmeal baths. I’ve tried baking soda paste. I’ve tried lotions, and Vaseline, and benadryl, and calamine lotion. Nothing. Helps. Ice does help a bit, but not much. Hot showers are no fun. I’m hoping and praying I can effectively sanitize and remove this from my home before my oldest or my husband catches this terrible virus!!!!

    My daughter has hand, foot and mouth disease. Sores are on the bottom of her feet, her palms and on the knee’s. She only had slight fever, no sores in mouth. Ibuprophen helped very little with pain/itching (especially on her feet).Her toes were swollen and tight from the rash as well and I frantically searched online for suggestions to relieve the itching/pain, but found nothing. I tried Cortizone cream, and even baking soda paste. Then I tried Witch Hazel…and BINGO!!! Witch Hazel is the main ingredient used to sooth hemmorhoids and so I thought, why not try it! It worked! I soaked a rag in Witch Hazel and had my daughter place the rag on the area that itches/burns. Please share this with the Mom’s out there so they can help their child if they become inflicted with this…it may only offer temporary relief, but it does help take away the itching and pain!!! Every drug store carries Witch Hazel and it is very inexpensive!

    My Daughter is just getting over this! I had taken her to the doctors 3 times last week and they we SOO sure that it wasn’t HFMD because it wasn’t on her palms or soles of her feet…but last night, I saw it on her palms and soles of her feet! I’m glad my baby is starting to feel better, but now I have it! Mine doesn’t seem to be quite as bad as hers has been, but if I’m this miserable, I can only imagine just how bad hers was?! my fever has been worse, and I have had a lesser appetite than she has…but the rash is NO WHERE near what my babies was. I pray that this clears up soon for the both of us and anyone else going through this.

    Hi! 23 yo female, on day 5 of HFMD! I haven’t noticed my kids having this so I have no clue how in the world I got this miserable mess!!! It feels like I am swallowing razor blades. Tylenol and ibuprofen aren’t touching the pain at all. All I wish to do is sleep, so I don’t feel this pain!! There are like 5 sores on my tonsils, 10 sores on each hand, and probably more than that on my feet! I’m still getting new sores. Anyone had them on their scalp though? That’s what I’m getting and I’m freakingout. They aaren’t bothersome as I just noticed them yesterday. I’m anxious for them to go away. Can someone please tell me when they go away? The mouth ones? Because I’m counting up the days and it is feeling like it will never go away. I cry in pain a lot lately. Its gotten to the point I don’t have to be trying to eat or drink, it just hurts period!! Please, I need advice fast!

    HFMD for my family started with my 5 year old daughter on Thursday October 1st 2014. Her fever was 101 and she was extremely lethargic. Got the temp down with OTC children’s pain relievers and she seemed to perk right back up. Friday, she was feeling fine, went to school, came home and we noticed the blisters on her hands and feet. She said they didn’t hurt, but itched a little. We gave her an oatmeal bath and used some Eczema lotion on them and it seemed to relieve the itching. That was pretty much the extent of her bout with HFMD. Then, Saturday October 4th, I had a terrible fever all day long along with back pain, chills, and general “flu” type symptoms. Slept away most of Saturday and the night as well. Woke up Sunday feeling better. No fever, well rested yet still a little sore, so I thought it was just a 24 hour thing. Got in the bath tub Sunday a.m. and that’s when I noticed 2 slightly raised bumps on 2 of my fingers. They weren’t discolored or anything so I thought nothing of it and went about my day. When I woke up Monday, I was covered in blisters! There were at least 20 on each hand, 10 or so on my scalp, 3 on my ears, some in and all around my nose, all over my feet and toes, some on my buttocks and even on the roof of my mouth, tongue and throat. The blisters came in different stages. First they were flesh colored and looked kind of like small warts or mosquito bites. Then, they progressed and filled with fluid, like the blisters from wearing the wrong shoes or burning yourself on something hot. The worst day for me was Monday the 6th. My hands hurt the absolute worst and they burned like they were on fire. I could hardly walk to the bathroom because the blisters on my feet and toes made it feel like I was walking on golf balls. The ones on my scalp were so itchy, I think I actually made them way worse by scratching them. I ended up going into the doctor’s office, and I begged them to find SOMETHING I could put on my hands to soothe them enough so I could rest. They gave me a prescription for a 5% Lidocane gel that seemed to help some. It took the extreme burning down to a dull ache. They also gave me a Rx for a mixture they call “Miracle Mouthwash” which is Benadryl, Maylox, and Lidocane. The mouthwash was a GODSEND for my sore mouth. I think I really turned the corner on Thursday, which would have been 5 days from the start of my fever. The blisters, after the fluid was gone, flattened out and they became really dark red. Right now, they left these strange pits all over, similar to the surface of a golf ball, and they’re very dry- which could be from the obsessive hand washing. I also currently have some numbness in 2 of my fingers and deep red spots on my hands (they have lightened up considerably) and a few scabs on my face and nostrils, but no more pain! This was one of the worst sicknesses I’ve ever experienced!!! Since I’ve been feeling better, I’ve been spraying everything I touched with Lysol disinfecting spray and have washed nearly all my clothes, sheets, blankets etc in hot water to kill the virus on them. I was also told, by the doctor, that HFMD is very rare in adults and if they do contract it, it’s usually very mild. Not so, in my case. Some things I found that helped the burning and or itching was running my hands under cool water/ washing in cool water, shampooing with my Wen cleansing conditioner, and cocoa butter lotion. Just try to manage the symptoms the best you can, hang in there and keep telling yourself – THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY!!!

    My 3.5yr old son recently started head start. I noticed a small pimple like bump on the top of his right hand. We had gotten bitten by mosquitoes that evening so I assumed it was a bite. The next day they’re was a cluster of three and I thought it was an allergic reaction. The next morning as I was putting him in his carseat to take him to school I seen that they completely broke out all over the top of both hands and his palms have red blotchy blisters that itch like crazy from time to time. Also tiny pimple like blisters on legs.No fever. No sores in mouth & no blisters on feet. I found that a mixture of starch and water bring instant relief. He’s acting completely normal.The pediatrician said it was hfmd. It’s been 9 days since I first seen the bump and the blisters don’t seem to be getting any better. I’m starting to think it may be something else. I’m taking him back to the Dr. In the morning for another checkup. Thankyou all so much for sharing your stories. This is honestly my first time posting anything. I felt I needed to pay back by sharing our story.

    this article is good from a mother’s point of view my 13 month old baby girl has hand and it breaks my heart to see her in pain,thank you for this article it gave me some encouragement knowing in a few more days it will all be over

    Thanks so much!this article really helped!!i was up all night last night with my one years old boy,he screamed and screamed!i eventually sat with him watching cartoons at 3in the morning:)I gave him ibubrufen and ice to suck on!!this really seemed to help!

    I am 33 and I am also an adult victim to HFM disease. I think I got it from my nieces. Started with a minor sore throat and then a day of being feverish and dead tired. Noticed a small painful red spot on the sole of my foot a day later. Then noticed that my scalp had bumps all over it and became very itchy. Then the sores came on my hands and my face and spread. Thankfully I don’t have any sores in my mouth or throat. My tounge feels like I burned it on hot soup, except that it’s a constant dull sting. I’m on day 5 and I’m hoping that this will be a turn around day. Very annoying disease.

    I’m 52 and I’m pretty sure I have HFMD!
    Day 1 –
    Woke up with a slightly sore throat which got worse as the day wore on and took paracetamol to control the pain. That night ran a temperature, was sweating and then sometimes felt cold, ached all over, felt very nauseous and had a very interrupted night’s sleep. The next day still ran a fever and felt very unwell, unable to do anything, no appetite. Paracetamol didn’t quite cover the pain of the sore throat. That evening noticed small red ‘pimples’ on the backs of my legs and butt but didn’t realise I had HFMD.
    Day 2 and I noticed red itchy spots in a couple of places on my hands which I thought were mosquito bites from a couple of days ago. As today has progressed I have had a few more come up and now my feet have several spots that are quite difficult to see but they are burning, itching and feel tight. Topical creams for stings and itches are not helping and neither did anti histamine tablets. So glad tht I don’t have any in my mouth or throat!

    I am now contemplating trying a bath with oatmeal or bicarbonate of soda. So far the spots have not developed into blisters but remain as red ‘angry’ looking spots.

    I was in town four days ago and must have come into contact with this awful virus somehow and hope that others in the household do not catch it.

    Thank you so much for this help and advice. My daughter currently suffering at the moment with HFMD and I feel helpless. Her mouth looks so sore and unfortunately she has blisters all over. Just knowing that they improve after a few days makes me feel better.

    Just found out today that my lil guy has HFMD. This is so awful. The worst part is the ulcers/sores in his mouth. Plus his belly is gassy because he he just cant eat anything. One thing that has helped besides orajel is magic mouthwash. You make it at home. He is 2 so its 1/2 tsp benadryl and 1/2 tsp mylanta. You can give it every six hours but he is so miserable i’ve been giving it every 4 since it’s such a small dose. It really helps and we use orajel in between. He can barely drink anything he has so many on his throat and mouth. It basically happened overnight. I might have missed it but I thought I would share the “magic mouthwash” it’s a huge help.

    I think my 11yrold son has hfmd but one thing that is different his testicles are swollen and yes very itchy??? Does this happen

    My 22 month old son has had HFMD for over 4 months now. Each time the doctor tells us the same thing, Love, Tylenol, warm baths and to keep clean. We have doing this, yet my son has had this consistently for over 4 months with the intermitten fevers and agonizing pain, controlled with warm Aveno baths and childrens tylenol. Has anyone else had the same experience? It seems to me that most cases are over in about a month or so. This is concerning and I keep getting the same answers from the doctor.

    My daughter has just started showing the same symptoms. This article has helped me understand her fever, crying and not wanting to eat. She is currently teething as well this is what I assumed was causing the discomfort and unhappiness.

    Thank you so much.

    My son is 7 and caught this at school. He had a fever and sore throat on first day. Sore throat stayed thru day 3. Day 3 a few blisters apoeared on ears…30 mins they were on hands front and back. Dr cant do anything. I used ibuprofren/motrin, but ice water was number 1. Make them drink cold water, it gives relief. Day 4 blisters rupturing on their own, throat is better. Day 5, he was 100%, blisters peeled and skin brand new. My husband caught it from my son and had the worse case the doctor had ever seen. Course of virus was as follows:
    Day 1- high fever and flu like symptoms
    Day 2- no fever but sore throat and aching legs. Before bed hands and feet burning, no rash.
    Day 3- rash on hands and feet both sides,in nose, on face, on buttocks, back, legs, arms, and armpits. Fever returned
    Day 4- swollen rash with sore throat and rupturing blisters. Dr was able to give steroid shot to help and it did.
    Day 5 – no fever and sore throat better but all other symptoms of burning itching rash.
    Day 6 – blisters scabbing over, but small itchy rash appearing on body.
    I’m 8 1/2 months pregnant and have a very mild case. Never a fever, just exhaustion on first and second day. No sore throat. My breast we on fire though. From Thurs to Sat no other symptoms. Sat evening flat rash appeared on hands but no itching or burning. Sunday more rash on hands and feet palms and soles only. Hands itched like crazy…worse itch ever…couldn’t sleep…only thing that helped was an ice pack that I held like a teddy bear. Monday hands feel better, a few more spots but now feet are terribly itchy and painful to walk on. Can’t stand the ice bath for feet so lotion then put feet in front of the fan. I wrapped my feet with gauze when I have to walk or put on shoes and socks. That’s where I am now with it. Drink a ton of ice water just to keep flushing this crap out of your body. Hope this helps. Wouldn’t wish any form of this on anyone!!!! Miserable.

    My daughter will be 9 in a week. The first day she started with a fever & sore throat that was her main problems at first but she decribed it as swallowing pins & needles & couldn’t really eat. By Monday we went to the Dr. who said it wasn’t strep at that time my daughter had 2 cancor sores on the sides of her tongue. He said it was a viral infection & the sores were part of it. Her fevers finally stopped on Wednesday but that is when her tongue became full of blisters, they were on the inner cheeks of her mouth & on the corners of her mouth. Ice cream has been the only thing she can eat. Although she hasn’t gotten any on her feet or hands after reading these similar stories I definitely believe she has HFMD, & I am praying she is at the end we on going on day 7.Now I am praying that I don’t catch it because I have been very interactive with her. Thank You for giving me different ways to cope with it

    Located in Northen CA
    Both of my sons have HFMD currently, it started with my oldest who is 8, almost 9 and now my 6 yr old has it. I took them to immediate care on Wednesday when my oldest had a few spots on his hands and feet, mouth ulcers and 102 fever. I knew they had been exposed to HFM the Saturday before by a 2yr old cousin. Dr. said they were “too old to get HFMD” and that he had “incidental bug bites” and diagnosed him with strep (no test.) Both boys were put on amoxicillin. Within 2 days the oldest was covered with blisters mostly on his hands/feet, but he did get them on his elbows, knees, buttock, and anywhere he had a previous scratch/broken skin. That same day the youngest got a 103 fever and started getting deep purple spots in his hands/feet. By Saturday I’m staying up all night with the 6 year old who now had a full blown rash everywhere and is crying because it itches so bad (I’m started to suspect an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin so I discontinued it and stared him on Benedryl.) I took them back to the doctor Sunday morning and they confirm it is HFMD. The oldest is on the down hill side, his blisters have broken and are healing. The 6 yr old has HFMD and now we know is allergic to penicillins, and is on prednisone to supress the reaction. His blisters have sprung up anywhere he had existing bites/scratches, but so far have remained deep/dark on his hands/feet and have not risen to the surface and become blisters like his brother’s did. Bottom line-trust your instincts, you know your kids! Don’t let a dr. bully you into antibiotics without a strep test. Most important lesson-while this “usually” does affect younger children-anyone can get HFMD and you don’t have to present with classic symptoms!!!
    *Thanks for the helpful disinfecting tips!!*

    My 2 year old daughter spiked a fever 6 days ago. I just assumed she was about to cut another one of her 2 year molars. Then I dropped her off with family to watch her 2 days later and I got a phone call from my father saying he tried to feed her a cheese puff (which she absolutely loves) and she wouldn’t eat it and immediately started to cry. He sent me a picture of her tongue, which had a strange almost white discoloration to it with 2 decently sized blisters right in the middle. From working in an ER, I knew almost immediately what it was. After the tongue sores popped up she she wanted nothing to go in her mouth! I took her to the urgent care, mostly because my husband wanted me to, and because I knew they could write me a prescription for some Magic mouthwash. That was Thursday. The sores in her mouth, and the white,thick, for lack of a better word, yuck on the back of her tongue have doubled and she will not eat anything. For almost 2 days I could barely get her to drink water. Just when I thought we were going to have to go to the ER for fluids she woke up this morning and drank almost a full 16 oz bottle of water. She won’t take Pedialyte, drink or freezer pops, no yogurt or smoothies. No food what so ever. She will only drink water. We are on day 5 since the sores first appeared. She is sleeping only a few hours at a time. Crying almost constantly, if she’s not crying she whimpering. She’s so miserable. I’m trying to let it run its course but I feel like it’s been so long and she’s exhausted. I just want her to eat something. She has no rash on her hands or feet or anywhere else for that matter. But the MD says that happens in some cases of HFMD. Using tylenol and motrin and magic mouth wash every 4-6 hours for pain control. And sometimes about an hour after administration of the medication I catch a glimmer of my happy baby girl… but it’s quickly taken away by the pain. She did take her first bite of food in 48 hours this morning, but nothing since. I’m thinking I will give it another day or 2 before I take her back to a doctor, as long as she will still drink water.

    My 16 yr old son got HFMD after working with little ones during vacation bible school. Some of his friends have come down with it as well. After the appropriate time frame he healed and was practically cleared but this morning woke up to a rash much worse in appearance than the first outbreak. Only slight itching he says. Has anyone else ever experienced a re occurrence after healing?

    One Sunday, my son seemed extra tired, so i laid him down early. He woke up an hour later vomiting with a 101 fever. Three hours later his fever was gone and he was sleeping. He then kept waking up all night long. I thought teething and couldn’t see in his mouth cuz he fought me. Friday, he still wouldn’t eat and sadly it took that long to get him into the pediatrician who confirmed .hfmd confined to ulcerations in the mouth.
    It wasn’t until Sunday that he ate solids again… But I woke up Sunday with swollen lymph glands. Being 8 months pregnant, i called my ob to ask what to do, he said prayer and Tylenol was all he could do.
    Sunday evening, i felt awful. Monday, fever of 102 with Tylenol, headache, nausea, flu-like symptoms, and ulcers forming on my swollen gums. Tuesday, ulcers now on my tongue, tonsils, roof/back of my mouth, gums more swollen, fever. Wednesday, huge blisters formed overnight on my lips, gums so swollen it almost covers my molars, blisters all over my tongue. Thursday, more blisters, if there was a nook or cranny without a blister in my mouth, it’s gone now. Constant crying from excruciating pain even with 1000mg of Tylenol every 6hrs. Salt water gargles and washes don’t help. It’s now Friday, my blisters all burn, gums still swollen, can’t even down liquids now, haven’t had anything solid since Monday, and it’s my birthday. :/ 5 days in and i still feel like a train wreck. This is hell,i wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. I may need to go to the er today, I’ve beensteady getting dehydrated from impaired drinking ability but now it just isn’t happening 🙁 all i taste is infection. Disgusting.
    No birthday party or cake for me.

    Just wanted to share a room possible remedies for the itching feet and hands. If you take Borax and hydrogen peroxide and mix it in lukewarm water and soak your feet and hands it will subside the itching. This has helped me immensely while being sick after treating my son who did not break out. So once again lukewarm water a little bit of Borax hydrogen peroxide so until the itching is gone then cover with Aquaphor and we’ve uncovered

    Just want to share. My son had what appears to be HFMD. Although 3 MDs say its not so im kind of at a loss. He had all the symptoms. Which have subsided now at about day 7. Unfortunately i now have it so the whole thing about adults not catching it is poop. I started with a fever that ran for about 36 hrs then started to devlop blisters on my hands and throat. Throat is immensely sore. Like swallowing glass everytime something passes my tonsils. Now got them developing on my feet and have a spotted rash thats not sore but in patches all over my body. I have had a few bugs before including dengue and ecoli but this by far the worst. I have also had this as a child and dont remember it being this bad. Absolutely putrid virus feel like death warmed up

    I’ve never commented on a blog. Ever. Wanted to share that the only topical pain relief that worked for me on the blisters was Burn Free Pain Reliever (for burns). I was up the entire first night because of the pain/ itch on my hands.. Ice packs were the only relief that I found but this made it too awkward to sleep. The second night, I found the burn medicine and it provided some relief for the painful bumps. It stinks but I didn’t care since nothing else seemed to dull the pain for me. Wanted to let others know. And this is is a terrible virus! Never experienced anything like this.

    My daughter had gotten it about a little less then a week ago and now I have it. I didnt realize adults could get it so when she gAve me all them kisses I just took em :/ im a natural freak I use natural everything so something to look into is 100% pure essential oils. I used melaleuca oils on the blisters and lemon oil for my swollen lymph nodes. All tho in pain with sore throat and muscle aches the blisters have gotten much better in the last 12 hours 🙂

    Well this one will take the cake I’m 70 years old and I got horrible hand and foot and mouth disease probably from my grandkids I’m really worried because of my age I’m very scared I’m just mostly scared of the complications at my age I’m trying to be brave but it started just like everybody else and I also have never heard of this disease and im 70 years old I called my daughter in law and ask her what this was and she said a pamphlet went around the school saying it was spreading my grandkids only had a fever and vomiting they never got the rash but they did throw up and complained of a sore throat but never got any other symptom so I don’t know but I sure do very scary for a 70 year old woman just trying to get better and hopefully I don’t get any complications because of my age

    I came to this blog and found it very helpful. My little guy is 18 months old and had a bad case of HFMD. He’s always been so healthy and has only had a fever twice. My routine for treatment was rotate between children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen every three hours. 6 mL of IBU and 5.5 of acetaminophen. Definitely ask your doc about dosage. In addition I bathed him each night with equate calming bath treatment with natural colloidal oatmeal. I think the life saver was the cream I rubbed all over him a few times per day. It is called Ivarest. It is poison ivy itch relief. The ingredients are calamine, benzoyl alcohol and diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Finally before he went to bed I would give him 1/2 tsp children’s Benadryl. I got everything at wal-mart. I thought I would list the treatment before his symptoms. His symptoms were thurs at 5:30 pm a fever of 102.5. I stayed home with him on Friday and he was warm in the morning so I gave him another dose of IBU. he took a nap Friday afternoon until 4:00 pm. By the time he was suppose to go to bed at 9:00 he was really cranky. My husband noticed a blister on his hand and we didn’t think much of it, but wondered where it came from (I kept wondering if he touched something hot…yes I was clueless). By midnight he had not stopped crying and we decided to head to the ER. The doc saw his hand and immediately knew he had HFMD. He advised the medicine rotation every three hours. I added the Ivarest, oatmeal bath and Benadryl on my own. We got home from the hospital Friday night and he cried and was miserable until sat morning at 9:00. He finally crashed and slept until 6:30 pm. i never woke him for medicine. When he woke I gave him more medicine, a bath, and lathered him with the Ivarest. He was very happy. At 10:30pm I gave him another dose of medicine and the Benedryl. He slept from 11:00 until 8:30 am! My hubby and I kept checking on him because he had been sleeping so much, and it was the fist time we had ever given him Benadryl. I just stuck to my routine. He had a bad case. By Saturday morning it had spread all over. He had it in his hands mouth and feet. In addition his bum, arms, and legs had scattered patches. He looked horrible, but as long as I followed my routine he was happy. One of the most important things is to keep them hydrated!! Oh and one other thing, his bottom was so bad. I think it was a combination of the blisters and diarrhea. My pediatrician had prescribed him ILEX in the past because he was allergic to my breastmilk and had horrible diaper rashes. I put the Ivarest on his bum and then the ILEX. That stuff is amazing! It cures diaper rashes overnight and dried out the blisters by Monday morning. I hope this long rant helps someone out there. Always check with your doc in treatment. Hang in there! There is light at the end of the tunnel!

    my son has it than I got it now my sons dad I just need to no how long does it last the pain, the soars, the whole virus n do I need to take antibiotics for it

    I’m so glad I came across this page and I never usually read pages in its entirety but the information people have mentioned here is very useful. My nearly 3yr old daughter had a mild fever on Xmas night (of all nights) and was lethargic for the following day. I noticed the bumps the day after that on her lips and scanned down to her hands where there were a few more so of course I looked at her foot and thought uh oh! She was diagnosed with hfmd on the 27th but she was back to her chirpy cheeky self with spots that also appeared on her nappy area and up her legs. After being strict about hygiene (even more so), I now have spots on my hands and feet but not mouth after having fevers and chills since yesterday afternoon. Guess it’s a case of too late and i have been sneezed and coughed on. I will be calling the after hours dr for a home visit soon to diagnose me. I’m a bit paranoid as I have a three month old boy and I would be so upset if he somehow contracted this. I’m optimistic it’s a rash of another type that is less sinister as it hasn’t blistered yet. We are hoping we can see the new year with no sickness. If I do have hfmd I will look into some remedies mentioned here – thank you!!

    I am in my 40’s and have HFMD, no idea where I got this from but it is terrible. I’d like to know if anyone is suffering from major joint and muscle pain in the neck and arms from this? I can hardly lift my head from the pillow due to the aches and pain. My spots are fading after day 8 but the pain is still bad, mainly when lying down. I’m not sure why other websites say this disease is mild, that is an understatement.

    thank you, your article about HFMD was so informative. i was releive with all the worries that came when i figured out it was an HFMD. atleast now i know what to do, it’s also timely cause my youngest son is suffering from it and we just had an sleepless night last night.

    My son had hand foot and mouth as well. To stop the itching completely I drew him a normal bath and added two capfuls of bleach. He spent about 20 min. in the bath; the bleach soaked into his skin and killed the virus immediately! The itching was no problem after that!

    My 6 month old got this and is still getting over it. He is on day 8 so far and is doing better. So far he has not had anymore fever or diarrhea. His sores are starting to heal and skin is pealing away around his little fingers. I on the other hand started feeling like crap on Friday with stomach pains and Saturday morning woke up with the worst headache i have ever had. My entire body hurt so bad. I took hot bathes when i could and used a heating pad. After shinning a small light in the back of my throat i noticed that i had the same bumps as my son. Well later on in the day on Saturday the painful blisters started to appear on my hands and feet. I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I have been taking Tylenol and benadryl around the clock . Looking back i really wish i would have worn gloves when changing my son, but then again there is only so much protection you can do for yourself with a sick child. I just hope this never happens again. I have read where some cases that finger nails fall off. I must say that is what scares me the most. I also wanted to mention that my sons doctor suggested doing a 1:1 ratio of Benadryl and Maalox for the mouth sores. That really helped him because for like one whole day i had a really hard time getting him to eat. I did the same for myself with the benadryl and Maalox and i noticed that it helped me as well.

    I’m a 36-year-old female who contracted HMFD presumably from my 15-month-old niece while on vacation in Aruba. We suspected my niece was symptomatic while on vacation, as she developed a fever and a slight rash, but nothing major. Upon arriving home several days later, I developed a headache and then a fever with a sore throat. Thinking I had a cold, I took some OTC meds to help break the fever and continued on with life. Two days later, I started to break out into a rash on my feet and my sore throat got worse. My feet itched and burned, and the pain was overwhelming. Nothing seemed to help stop the itching at first. I couldn’t even sleep. By the next morning, the rash spread to my mouth, legs, hands, arms, back, and — worst of all — genitalia. I can definitely say that as an adult, painful blisters on my genitalia was by far the worst thing I have experienced so far in my life. SO MUCH PAIN! I went to the doctor, got diagnosed with HFMD and sent home with advice to rest and let the virus pass through my system. As a teacher, I stayed home from work (so far I’m on the third day off) so I don’t infect any students or fellow staff. I’m on day 7 of the illness now and finally feel like I can interact with the world a bit again. I thought I’d offer some advice on treatment since I feel like I had a nasty case of HMFD. My best advice is isolate yourself somewhere where you can rest comfortably and minimize movement. I put a soft blanket over my couch and set up camp with my various treatment options easily reachable. For my feet, which itched the worst, I used a variety of methods to treat the sores. First, I applied tea tree oil and topped that with Maximum Strength Cortizone 10. I then wrapped my feet in gauze soaked in Witch Hazel. This, by far, was the only thing that helped alleviate some of the itching. For my genitals, I applied Witch Hazel (which burned a little at first, but then was very soothing) and slathered on Cortizone 10 on top. Do not put tea tree oil directly on your genitals — you’ll feel like you’re on fire!!! I read you can dilute tea tree oil with some water and then apply. For the rest of my body and face, I’ve been using mostly witch hazel and tea tree oil to soothe the sores and dry them out. It really worked well. Luckily, I did not have many throat sores. Today I plan to soak in an oatmeal bath to also finish off any sores that aren’t dried out yet. I also took Tylenol and Benadryl pills to help with pain and to promote sleep. I hope my advice helps anyone who experiences HMFD. If you’re reading this in extreme discomfort, know that the symptoms are temporary and you will get better!

    I Really Love Your Article My One Year Old Son Is Going Through This Right Now . I Feel So Bad For Him I Just Wish I Can Take All His Pain Away . Today Is His 2nd Having HFMD & I Can’t Wait Until It’s Over . Thanks For Sharing Your Ideas With Me …

    I was recently diagnosed with HFMD. I’m 15 and have really no medical problems. I have questions, its getting worse and I have been taking the medicine that the doctor prescribed. The blisters are all over my throat, tongue, gums, check sides, roof top of my mouth, near my teach and also on my lips. I’m very worried because it’s spreading all over my mouth. I can’t swallow nothing it hurts to talk my body aches along with it. My head has been killing me, which I do suffer from head aches so I don’t know if that is the problem. My left arm is also killing me and I don’t know what happen to it. I don’t know what to do and it hurts super bad. Is there any advice on what I can do. Also is this really HFMD because it’s only in my mouth not no where else. Please help me

    I was researching this medical condition and came across this article. I found it to be very informative. Thank You

    I am 61 years old and was diagnosed last week with HFMD. I only had it in my mouth, but I’m on day 11 and still have a sore throat that was worse than any strep throat ever. I can eat again, but not all foods yet. I have no idea where I got this as I am not regularly near any children. I had a low grade fever and was miserably tired, fatigued for days. That’s how it started really. I sudden became extremely fatigued very quickly about mid-afternoon one day, but the doctor had put me on Amoxicillin the day before for a more normal sore throat that would not go away. I had had that for a couple of weeks already. The next morning after being so tired that I had to go to bed early, I woke up with a swollen lip and an extremely sore throat and mouth. What got me thru the pain was a mixture of antacid, benadryl, and lidocaine prescribed by an urgent care dr.

    I now think that the sore throat I had for weeks before was a milder case of HFMD that never went away. On day 10, I noticed what looked like a newer lesion in my throat after the rest had nearly healed. I hope I get rid of this some day soon. It will be nice to start eating non-soft foods again. I am making chicken soup today since it seems to cure so many things.

    The recipe for that mixture was 2 fl oz water, a tbsp of maalox, 1 tsp of childrens benadryl and 1 tsp of the prescribed liquid lidocaine. It helped but I surely got tired of nearly constantly rinsing my mouth and throat. I no longer need it now, but in day 11 the sore throat is not yet gone.

    HOLY MOLY I had never heard of HFM before. My kids weren’t feeling well (cough and mild fever) but I didn’t think anything of it. I started to have a sore throat (which is normal for me because if the kids get it, mom gets it). After a few days the spots appeared. First in a circle on my hand. Then on the kids, then ALL OVER. I am 37 and this mess hit me like a ton of bricks. The kids were a bit fussy but got better. My 3 and 5 year olds didn’t get blisters. My 6 year old and my 1 yr old were like me, covered in blisters. We are on day 14 and the blisters are scabbing. The fever is gone. The vertigo that I have experienced is not gone yet. My question is, HOW LONG ARE WE CONTAGIOUS? I don’t want to give this crap to anyone else. I am pretty sure we got this from church. We were around people a bit and probably had it and didn’t know. Most likely someone at the church had it and thought they were better but were not better yet and spread this garbage. THIS HAS BEEN A HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE. I can’t seem to find anywhere online that tells me how long we are contagious and when we can be around other people. Anyone?

    We drove from NH to west coast of FL last weekend. My 4 yo girl came down with fever, headache, stomachache, swollen throat glands, and very sleepy last Wednesday. The rash started popping up on her feet, hands, backs of underarms, knees, and chin. At first I just thought it was a random virus and maybe she had heat rash. After I did more research, I narrowed it down to HFMV. My older girl (6) got the headache, stomachache, high fever, and sore throat, swollen glands Friday. The rash started popping up by Saturday morning while we were getting on the road to travel home. We spent a miserable night in motel with older girl in my bed, itching feet and hands like crazy, and the only relief was sitting on the edge of the tub to run cool water on her feet, multiple times during the night. My husband ran out at 4am to get Benadryl which didn’t help. I am 44 and was thinking I wouldn’t get it because most info said it was childhood virus, but my throat and head started hurting on Saturday, and I had the rash starting yesterday. This virus is awful! My feet, hands, mouth, knees, legs, scalp, butt, and elbows all have red pustules that itch and are sore. It hurts to walk. I can’t send the girls to school this week until the rash is gone as it is highly contagious, and I will probably have the rash for at least 2-3 more days. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone and pray that my husband doesn’t get it!

    I have it at 10 and hate it it’s the worst sickness ever, are you able to put normal skin sensitive skin lotion on the rashs my skin is getting dry from all the hand washing

    I got a call Tuesday morning from my daughters daycare telling us that they thought she had hfmd. It had been going through her daycare like wildfire, so I went down to see what they saw. (Side note – it started with an infected kid whose mother knew what he had and decided to bring him to school anyway. Wife went off on the site director and will be going off again on Monday) There was a patch of red dots in the crack of her bum where there had been some pimples the week before (We assumed diaper rash). I told the daycare provider that I did t think it was an issue but that if they wanted me to take her to the Dr I would. I left but came right back to take her to the Dr not 10 minutes later thinking that if I was called it was a serious enough concern to have it checked out. Dr says that she probably had an incredibly mild case the week prior with no fever and pain only in the diaper rash area.

    Fast forward to The next day . I’m driving home and suddenly get back pain and nausea. Later that night my fingers on my right hand are tingly. Wake up Thursday and my right hand and right foot are on fire. I suspect somethings up. I take a shower Thursday evening and my wife starts freaking out because my entire back and shoulders are covered in hives/bumps. Friday morning both hands and feet are on fire, I’ve got sores on legs, arms, feet, hands, face, neck, shoulders, back, groin. I go to see the Dr and her response was “this looks like hfmd but it’s absolutely everywhere. It’s such a bad case I need a second opinion from the dermatologist.” Stayed in bed rest of the day Friday and all day Saturday. Keeping feet elevated will help with feet burning. Benadryl helped with the itching. Air conditioning helped keep cool in this 100 degree heat wave were having. Woke up this morning (Sunday) feeling like I’m a real person again.

    My 2 year old is going thru this right now. It is awful and I feel so helpless. I did not think this is what she had til reading this post. Our case happened the same exact way. When I read this post, I knew we had it. So a little info for any other moms going thru this. A big hit with my daughter, mini pancakes. She even had a little bit of syrup with them. The frozen gogurts were awesome, I actually did that before reading this. Must be a mom thing. Lol. It is so hard to see your baby hungry, but they are too scared to eat. It is breaking my heart. I can not wait til this is over. I keep saying, it can’t last forever ! Right ? (It can’t right?) ? I really hope we are thru the worst of it. Good luck to anyone else going thru this, it will get better !

    I know it’s always bad for the kids, but as an adult I got this from my 15 and 13 year old…I’m 52! Fever, soar throat, Tuesday with a severe lack of stamina and strength. All around feeling of tiredness, lethargic, flu like symptoms. The next day after sleeping 18 hours, I felt better, but my throat was quite sore and I could barely see the red dots starting on my palms. By Thursday the dots were getting brighter red and now appearing on the soles of my feet too. Sore throat still full strength with food/drink difficult to take. In fact, I dropped five pounds in the first two days! Now going on day seven. Sore throat still quite prevalent…hurts to swallow and eat and I can see with a flashlight one or two blisters on the back of my throat. I also notice two canker sores that have appeared in other places in my mouth…exacerbating the overall mouth pain problem. I still feel like taking naps a few times each day as this virus works through my body. I’ve been getting some things down, but everything hurts unless it’s cool or cold and soft. Hope this goes away soon. Getting very tired of the limited diet, but I fit in my suits a little better. Thanks to everyone for sharing their thoughts. It’s a shame…we can send a man to the moon but can’t make the everyday person feel better from a “normal” virus with blistering side effects! I think my kids actually had it a little less severe! Perhaps because this generally isn’t a disease typical in adults.

    My son went to school on Aug 3rd, which was a half a day. He came home with a headache and sore throat. Later that night he starting running a fever. His fever got as high as 103. The next morning I made him a same day dr appointment. I told the dr that his cousin had hfmd and she confirmed that’s what he had. He only had blisters in his throat at that time. The next day he started breaking out on his face, hands,arms,legs and feet. He’s been using gold bond powder for the rash on his skin. The most painful part for him is his throat and mouth. He’s been eating popsicles, drinking water and milk through a straw. He wont use salt water for his mouth. Right now he has a wet rag in his mouth to kinda help with the blisters. I suggested putting ice in the rag but he says no. He just now let me use oragel in his mouth and that helps alot. He turned 13 Monday. He has been so miserable through this. Today is Wednesday so he’s had this for 1 week. I wish this ugly monster (hfmd) would leave.

    my daughter is two years old and she has the hfmd and they only thing bothers her is her feet itching really bad and she’s throwing fits is there anything I can put on her foot to stop the itching so she can rest at night and I give her benedryl and Tylenol also but her foot is the main problem

    My daugther would not eat and is putting her hand inside her mounth, also has blisters in her hands and feet, she has been in discomfort for 2 nights. I am using calamine to help with the itch, popcicles to eat and also the oat flour with warm water for her bath. Please be patience as it is very stressful for you and discomforting.


    My symptoms of HFMD—a slight fever accompanied with a headache—began to show on Wednesday afternoon (Day 1). With Tylenol and Motrin these decreased, but then on Thursday night (Day 2) I noticed two red bumps on my left fingers. These were insanely uncomfortable, and since I was in school at the time (15 year old male) new bumps on my soles beneath my socks and shoes began to burn from being covered all day. By Friday (Day 3), dozens of red bumps were on my feet area, and about four on each of my fingers. My thumbs though were oddly affected more, with about 10 concentrated on each. The peculiar bumps on my hands and feet led me to believe I have HFMD (flashlight down my throat did show ulcers, but they were only slightly uncomfortable). Along with the nearly unbearable itch from the blisters, the worry about this new disease kept me up that night.

    The next day (Day 4), I hoped for a decrease in symptoms, but the disease showed no relent. In fact, it seemingly increased; blisters travelled farther up my arm and appeared on my thighs. I also discovered what i previously thought was dandruff was actually almost 40 blisters on my scalp alone. My parents and I decided I may have something more than HFMD (we thought maybe chicken pox), but a visit to Urgent Care confirmed HMFD due to the very characteristic ulcers in my throat and concentration of bumps on my feet and hands.

    Cortisone and Benadryll are personally not effective in reducing the itch, and acetominophen/ibuprofen will not work as I am not feverish. The following day (Day 5), the bumps are still here. My major problem through this is the intense itching, throughout my hands, feet, scalp and face (which is also very blistered and scabbed). Coconut oil is somewhat soothing, but does anyone suggest any other home/medicinal remedies?

    Additionally, how much longer is this estimated to last? The red bumps sometimes seem to be faded, but when I wash my hands/feet they become blood red once again. As of now, I have zero throat pain and can eat/drink without difficulty. Since i have school tomorrow (Day 6), should I attend if the blisters are inapparent?

    This is truly a horrible disease, and bless anyone who is suffering through it!

    At 57, I contracted this last week from my nephews who had just gone through it. All symptoms were gone so we thought me visiting them would be safe. I have a compromised immune system so I’m sure that’s a factor. Blisters on my hands but no where else. Benadryl cream helps as does pain medication. Today is Day 7. I’m counting since it’s supposed to last between 7 and 10 days. They say you can get it from touching door handles and other type things. I can’t find anything that tells you how long it can live on knobs, etc. Does anyone know anything about this? Good luck to all suffering with this. The good news is it will go away!

    Baby Vicks vapor rub. Rub it on your hands like lotion. Same with feet, but wear socks. Huge difference
    After three applications was bearable. My husband and I both did it out of desperation today .

    My 17 month old has been miserable. Fever, not sleeping well didn’t want to eat or drink much. By day three he was worse. Just basically cried all day!! Finally I looked in his mouth. Tons of white sores on throat and tongue! At first I thought strep. It was night on a weekend so our only option was the ER but I couldn’t stand seeing him so miserable. They said it was viral and was either HFMD or similar. He hasn’t had any blisters other than in the mouth but the doctor said it looks different for everyone.

    He did say that the sores are VERY PAINFUL and immediately offered the option for strong prescription of pain meds to give him relief.

    He also said a combination of liquid children’s benedryl and liquid Maalox is helpful. The maalox helps neutralize the acidic sores and the benedryl helps numb them. You squirt the mixture around the mouth on the sores then they can swallow the rest. Might want to check dosages with your doc.

    My grandson got this terrible disease HFMD , he broke out wen he was visiting us for Christmas. It was painful for him we sprayed his hand with Dermoplast pain relieving spray. And wen he took a warm shower we gave him a stocking filled with oatmeal he showered with it.

    Both of my children had HFMD in January 2017. My daughter was 9 months at the time and she had come down with eczema coxsackium which mimicks eczema herpeticum. We spent two nights at Sick Kids Hospital. My son presented with classic HFMD which actually helped confirm my daughter’s diagnosis. My son recovered fully. 2we are now in March and my daughter’s skin has yet to fully heal. The sores are gone, but her skin has remained flaky and red on her chest and especially around her wrists and up her arms where it was the worst. Wondering if any other parents have had experience with eczema coxsackium and if they’re little ones skin has healed easily or if there are any suggestions to help treat her?

    My little boy is 22 months old and has HFMD. Started with a fever on Saturday evening and 2 days later woke up with a rash around his mouth, hands, feet and genital area.

    He is refusing to eat. I make sure that he gets a lot of fluids in. His genital area is very itchy and he tries to put his hand in his nappy to scratch. I feel helpless.

    Is there anything I can use on his genital area?

    I’m 13 (14 in November 2017) and I came down with the hand foot and mouth disease about 4 days ago and I got the sores in my mouth right away. I did not get the blisters on my hands and feet until about a day ago though so when I went to the doctors to ask them what the blisters In my mouth were( I had about 10 blisters on the first day and more keep adding on the roof of my mouth, my tongue, my gums, and my cheeks) and why I had a sore throat aswell they told me I probably just had a dental virus. But like I said a day ago I stared getting blisters in my hands and feet aswell and my mother who is a RN and clinical Coordinator at a wound care center, told me that I most likely has HFMD and it is now 5:37AM on a Friday morning and I woke up because of the unbearable pain in my mouth ( I have a high pain tolerance also) and I looked up how to ease the pain of HFMD and this is one of the sites that popped up so I read. I’m going to the doctors tomorrow and hopefully they can give me some mouth numbing mouthwash or something.

    Im 9 and a few days ago (3) I got confirmed of HFMD and i feel terrible nothing is working my feet are red and itching, and I want to rip out my throat. I tried to itch my foot and the blister popped and is flaking.there are even a few blisters on my lips (they don’t itch but whenever I talk they hurt.)Also a few above my mouth surrounding my nose area. CAN SOMEONE HELP ME!?!?!? I want to go back to the doctor and demand more info on what can numb my feet, hands, throat, and lips.

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