Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease is a viral infection commonly encountered in young children and can also affect adults. The infection is mild in its nature but is contagious and can easily spread. Let’s us have a look at its causes, symptoms and treatment.
Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease or HFM, named so because the disease is characterized by painful blisters in mouth, throat, hands and feet. It is a common viral infection mostly caused by Coxsackievirus, from the genus Enterovirus. This is a highly contagious infection that spreads through blister fluid, contaminated hands, saliva, faces, nasal discharges and respiratory droplets. The risk for HFM is higher for children under 7 years of age and adults with a weakened immune system.
Fever is experienced by kids for a few days along with blisters. The blisters seen in HFM are red and fluid filled. Rashes can also be seen on palms, soles and buttocks. Flu-like symptoms like fever, headache, reduced appetite and muscular pain can also be observed.
The blisters in the mouth and throat make it difficult to eat and drink and hence dehydration is observed in children. It takes from one week to 10 days for the symptoms to disappear and for complete recovery.
If the blisters are localized to the mouth and throat, then it can be hard for the parents to discern that the child is suffering from HFM.
Kids at a very young age might not be able to communicate or may not eat and drink or even if they do, it is very less. If such things happen, it can be a sign of HFM.
Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease is a self-limiting condition. There is no absolute cure or vaccination for this disease. The preventive measures such as regular hand washing and avoidance of close contact with the affected person can significantly reduce the risk of infection.
It is always preferred to give medications under Physician Supervision as individual body responses differ and a child may have an allergy to medicines. The visit to a doctor becomes more essential if your child is less than 6 months old or if the symptoms do not subside even after 10 days.
Medications like Ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be given to reduce itchiness and irritation. Always avoid Aspirin in children as it may result in a serious disorder known as Reyes’ Syndrome (a medical emergency).
Antibiotics ointments can be applied on the blisters.
Cold food items like ice cream popsicles help kids who have trouble swallowing and a kid can be easily convinced to have them. Hot beverages and citrus food and drinks should be avoided as these can worsen the pain. The blisters are on the skin and feet should be clean and uncovered. Lukewarm water with mild soap can be used to clean the skin, remember to pat dry. Making sure your kid stays hydrated with plenty of fluids and water will help recover faster.
If the symptoms persist for longer, it is advisable to consult a dentist to treat them at the earliest stage. Oris dental clinic has a dedicated team of the best kids’ dentists in Dubai to give your child healthy dental care.