What is hand-foot-mouth disease?Hand-foot-mouth disease is an illness caused by a virus that results in a distinctive rash - small, blister-like bumps in the mouth, hands and feet. The blisters may also appear in the diaper area and on the legs and arms. The lesions in the mouth usually appear on the tongue, the sides of the cheeks, or near the throat.
What causes hand-foot-mouth disease?Hand-foot-mouth disease is caused by a virus. The most common viruses that cause hand-foot-mouth-disease include the following:
- Coxsackie virus
- other enteroviruses
What are the symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease?The following are the most common symptoms of hand-foot-mouth disease. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- blister-like bumps in the mouth (on the tongue, the cheeks, and near the throat and tonsils)
- blister-like bumps on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet; bumps may also be seen on the arms, legs, and diaper area
- mild fever
How is hand-foot-mouth disease diagnosed?Hand-foot-mouth disease is usually diagnosed based on a complete history and physical examination of your child. The rash of hand-foot-mouth disease is unique, and usually allows for a diagnosis simply on physical examination.
Treatment for hand-foot-mouth disease:Specific treatment for hand-foot-mouth disease will be determined by your child's physician based on:
- your child's age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the disease
- your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
- increased fluid intake to prevent dehydration - provide cool, iced fluids in small amounts frequently
- acetaminophen for any fever
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