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Hand-foot-and-mouth Disease: Should Your Child See a Dermatologist?

June 20, 2024 by Katie.thielsen

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a very common (and contagious) skin issue in children, which can cause spots to develop on the fingers, palms or soles, which can quickly turn into bumps or blisters.

When a child has HMFD, most signs and symptoms clear within 7 to 10 days. in the first few days, you may notice that your child is not feeling well and may have a fever, sore throat, stomach issues and/or loss of appetite. From day three to seven (or longer), those symptoms often clear and other issues present, such as mouth sores, an itchy rash on the hands, feet or both, and swollen lymph nodes.

Infants and children younger than five years of age are most likely to contract HMFD. It is common in this particular age group because it takes time for the human body to develop immunity to the viruses that cause this disease. Since HMFD is caused by a virus, it is contagious to other children and adults. It’s important to keep a child with HMFD at home while symptoms persist, as it can easily be spread at daycare, school, etc.

Since HMFD goes away on its own without treatment typically within 7 to 10 days, treatment from a dermatologist or a primary care physician is usually not required. However, if your child is experiencing a high level of discomfort or pain from their symptoms, or other accompanying symptoms are presenting, a dermatologist can help provide relief. They can also accurately diagnose HMFD and confirm your child has it.

In addition, you can help ease the symptoms of your child’s HMFD at home with a few steps:

  • Avoid eating any food that is spicy or acidic, which can make the mouth sores more painful.
  • Drink cold liquids.
  • Avoid giving a child or teenager aspirin because aspirin can cause Reyes syndrome, which may lead to brain and liver damage.

If your child is experiencing pain or discomfort from the symptoms of HMFD, your local VitalSkin dermatology team is here to help. Schedule an appointment today!



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