What exactly is hand-foot-and-mouth disease?
Hand-foot-and-mouth(HFMD) disease is a contagious disease caused by a virus. While one of several viruses can cause it, the signs are usually the same:
- An itchy rash on the hands, feet, or both
- Mouth sores
You can catch from having close contact with a person who has it. You can also catch it when you touch something, such as a toy or doorknob, contaminated with a virus that causes this disease.
While many people worry that they can get it from a pet or other animal, you cannot. Animals cannot get it.
Some animals get a different disease called foot-and-mouth disease. Foot-and-mouth disease only develops in animals that have hooves, such as cows, sheep, and pigs. People cannot get it.
In the United States, HFMD tends to be mild. It usually:
- Develops in children younger than 5 years old
- Clears on its own in 7 to 10 days without leaving a trace
Tips for preventing:
- Wash your hands with soap and water often.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has HFMD
- Disinfect counters, doorknobs, and other surfaces that people frequently touch.
This disease goes away on its own without treatment. In most cases, HFMD is gone in 7 to 10 days.
If you or your child has pain or other symptoms, a dermatologist can provide treatment to relieve symptoms.