Hand-foot-and-mouth in Children and Adults

If you have young children, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious illness your child may contract. It’s not just for children, though. Adults are also susceptible to developing it. Let’s cover the basics of hand-foot-and-mouth and what you need to be on the lookout for.


What is Hand-foot-and-mouth?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild but contagious viral infection common in young children. It is known for the sores that develop in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet.


What causes Hand-foot-and-mouth?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a viral infection. The illness spreads by person-to-person contact, including coughing or sneezing, saliva, fluid from the blisters, and stool. It is common in child care settings because of frequent diaper changes and contact between young children.


What are the symptoms of Hand-foot-and-mouth?

A fever is often the first symptom of Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, followed by a sore throat. Following a fever and sore throat are the characteristic red blisters on the tongue, gums, and inside of cheeks, and red rashes on the palms and soles.


How long is someone contagious?

Although your child is most contagious with hand-foot-and-mouth disease during the first week of the illness, the virus can remain in their body for weeks after the signs and symptoms are gone. That means your child can still infect others. Some people, especially adults, can pass the virus without showing any signs or symptoms of the disease.


Can adults get Hand-foot-and-mouth?

Yes, adults can get Hand-foot-and-mouth. While it is more common in children under the age of 10, it is possible for adults with weakened immune systems to be affected. Adults can also be asymptomatic carriers of the disease.


How is Hand-foot-and-mouth treated?

There is no specific treatment for Hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Symptoms usually resolve on their own within 7 to 10 days. A topical oral anesthetic may help relieve the pain of mouth sores. Over-the-counter pain relievers, approved by your physician, can also ease discomfort.


Do you have a skin, hair, or nail concern?

The board-certified dermatologists at Forefront Dermatology are here to answer and address your concerns surrounding your skin, hair, and nail health. Find a location nearest you to schedule an appointment.