- Tiny red spots and water blisters on the hands and feet caused by a virus
- Rash is seen on the palms, fingers, soles and toes
- The diagnosis cannot be made without these
- Also can cause small mouth ulcers (sores)
Symptoms of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease (HFMD)
- Small red spots and tiny water blisters on the hands and feet. Seen on the palms, fingers, soles and toes.
- The diagnosis cannot be made without these.
- Small painful ulcers (sores) in the mouth. Look for them on the tongue and sides of mouth. Most children with HFMD have these, but they can be hard to see.
- Also, small blisters or red spots on the buttocks (30%)
- Low-grade fever less than 102° F (39° C)
- Mainly occurs in children age 6 months to 4 years
Cause of HFMD
- Coxsackie A-16 virus and other enteroviruses
- Not related to any animal disease
Severe Form of HFMD
- Since 2012, a severe form of HFMD has occurred in much of the world. It's caused by a new Coxsackie A6 virus.
- The rash spreads to the arms, legs and face. The rash is made up of many small blisters.
- Children with such a severe rash may need to be seen. Reason: to confirm the diagnosis. Exception: close contact with HFMD within the last 7 days.
- Treatment is the same. Drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Peeling of the fingers and toes is common. It looks bad but is harmless. It happens at 1 to 2 weeks. Use a moisturizing cream on the raw skin.
- Some fingernails and toenails may fall off. It occurs in 4% of severe cases. It happens at 3 to 6 weeks out. Trim them if they catch on things.
- Fingernails grow back by 3 to 6 months and toenails by 9 to 12 months. They will look normal.