Hand Foot and Mouth Disease: Symptoms & Remedies

I at all times want natural remedies for illness when it’s applicable since they typically shorten sickness (fairly than simply relieve signs). Hand, foot, and mouth illness (unusual because the identify could also be) is simply one other sickness that’s normally finest tended to at dwelling.

What Is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?

Hand, foot, and mouth illness (HFM) is a viral an infection normally brought on by the coxsackievirus. It is about as severe as a foul chilly or flu (learn: not that severe), aside from in very uncommon circumstances.

However, hand, foot, and mouth illness is extremely contagious and very uncomfortable and disagreeable for youngsters. HFM sometimes impacts kids 5 and beneath, and typically as previous as 10. Occasionally adults could contract HFM, though it’s normally milder.

The incubation interval of HFM (the time between contracting the virus and creating signs) is three to 6 days. HFM is most contagious within the first week after signs start however may be contagious in the course of the incubation interval and for days and weeks after restoration.

It is necessary to notice that hand, foot, and mouth illness shouldn’t be the identical as foot and mouth (aka hoof and mouth) illness, which is an unrelated illness affecting cattle.

Symptoms of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

HFM may be confused with strep throat or hen pox so keeping track of signs is necessary.

Early signs embody:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • diminished urge for food
  • basic feeling of being unwell

A day or two after the fever begins, painful sores can develop within the mouth (which can flip into blisters). Flat, pink sores or a pink rash typically seem on the arms and ft as effectively (they might additionally seem within the knee, elbow, genital, or buttock areas). These sores/rashes could flip into blisters and are sometimes painful however not itchy.

Because the sores within the mouth could cause kids and infants to not wish to drink, dehydration is one other potential facet impact and one thing to be careful for.

While hand, foot, and mouth isn’t normally harmful, in uncommon situations viral meningitis or encephalitis could happen with HFM. Additionally, some kids who get hand, foot, and mouth find yourself shedding their fingernails and toenails as they recuperate —  a little bit alarming! — however that is normally short-term and nails develop again shortly. (In delicate circumstances, this can be the one signal that there was an an infection to start with!)

Ways to Avoid Hand, Foot, and Mouth

Hand, foot, and mouth illness spreads by physique fluids and shut private contact. Children in childcare settings usually tend to contract HFM just because they’re in shut quarters with different kids (and younger kids are inclined to put every part of their mouths!).

If somebody in your social circle or household has HFM it’s a good suggestion to enter prevention mode for the remainder of your loved ones. Wash arms continuously and keep away from contact with unwell individuals and contaminated objects (like tissues).

Additionally, unique breastfeeding protects in opposition to HFM infections, based on one research.

Other methods to stave off hand, foot, and mouth an infection are:

Immune-Boosting Remedies for Hand, Foot, and Mouth

HFM illness is a viral an infection, so antibiotics received’t work (and might be dangerous). Because HFM is nearly at all times delicate, remedy is extra about making the affected person comfy and supporting the immune system.

Hmm… I’ve some pure treatments round the home that just do that!


Since dehydration is an enormous concern, getting the kid sufficient fluids is likely one of the first issues to think about. If the kid isn’t up for consuming due to the mouth sores, strive providing do-it-yourself popsicles made with coconut water or elderberries. The coldness of the popsicle ought to assist soothe the sores and get a lot wanted fluid into the kid. Electrolyte drinks, natural teas, coconut water, and bone broth are different methods to enhance hydration.

Healthy Foods

Though meals isn’t an enormous concern throughout sickness (it’s extra necessary for the physique to deal with therapeutic than on digestion) it’s nonetheless necessary to stay with the best high quality nutrient-dense meals that the kid can abdomen. Bone broth is one nice instance as it may be soothing to the throat and mouth but in addition accommodates lots of vitamins. Another meals that may have a huge impact on therapeutic is coconut oil because it’s antiviral and may also help struggle the virus (good for therapeutic mouth sores, too). Avoid acidic meals that may irritate mouth sores additional.


Almost all herbs have some medicinal use however some are higher suited to youngsters than others. Herbs with antiviral properties that style good are finest for youths who’ve HFM or different viral infections. These embody:

  • Lemon Balm – A chilled herb just like chamomile that can also be antiviral. Lemon balm is likely one of the most secure herbs for youngsters and infants. I use it as a tea.
  • Calendula – An unbelievable therapeutic herb, calendula is delicate flavored and great in a tea for therapeutic mouth sores. It can be sprayed readily available and foot sores for higher therapeutic. Calendula can also be anti-inflammatory and antibacterial which may also help keep away from a secondary an infection within the sores. I order it in bulk here.
  • Elderberry – Possibly the tastiest herb obtainable, elderberry is normally effectively acquired by youngsters of all ages and is a potent antiviral. Make it into syrup or as a tea.
  • AstragalusOne study found that astragalus has antiviral properties, particularly when the virus that causes HFM is present. This is one other one which’s easy to take as a tea.
  • Quercetin – A flavonoid present in rooibos tea, apples, darkish berries and cherries, peppers, cruciferous veggies, leafy veggies, sage, and rather more. Quercetin has been proven to fight the coxsackie virus. Get it from meals or a high quality supplement.

There are many different antiviral herbs however they’ve stronger tastes. If you’re unsure in case your little one will settle for the sturdy style, contemplate using a tincture instead. A tincture can typically be masked with a pleasant spoonful of uncooked honey. Other immune-boosting herbs that can be utilized in tea, tincture, or meals are:

Tip: Add extra sturdy herbs (like oregano and rosemary) to bone broth as a substitute of a tea for a greater taste mixture.


While an sickness isn’t at all times the very best time to push the upkeep dietary supplements (particularly if the affected person is having bother swallowing), I discover that extra probiotics and vitamin C are an exception. I additionally hold bee propolis readily available for myself and older kids when sick as a pure first protection.

Detox baths

A nice warm detox bath could assist soothe sores and cut back discomfort whereas eradicating impurities from the physique.

Reduce the Fever or Not?

I don’t usually recommend reducing a fever, since a fever is the physique’s finest protection in opposition to viral invaders.

Despite what some imagine, a fever of lower than 103 levels won’t trigger mind harm and a fever from a virus will normally not go above this temperature, except different elements are present (like excessive environmental temperatures). In truth, a fever is an efficient signal that the physique is doing what it ought to!

If a fever is 103 to 104 levels and I do know it’s not the results of poisoning, extreme bacterial an infection, warmth stroke, or toxins, I personally discover it finest to attend it out and monitor signs. However, with this and all medical selections, it’s necessary to do your personal analysis, discuss along with your physician, and seek the advice of your instinct so you’ll be able to really feel assured in your choice to attend or not wait.

The Bottom Line on Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

HFM is a reasonably delicate sickness (although uncomfortable and disagreeable) and will normally run its course in per week or two. In the meantime, help the immune system with healthy foods, dietary supplements, and antiviral herbs to alleviate signs and velocity therapeutic.

Has anybody in your loved ones ever had HFMD? What helped?

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