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Hand, foot and mouth disease

Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common infection that causes mouth ulcers and red spots on the hands and feet. It mainly affects children.

Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include mouth ulcers and red spots or blisters on the hands and feet.

Hand, foot and mouth disease usually lasts up to 10 days. Until then, you can reduce pain with things like mouth ulcer gels, spays and painkillers.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include mouth ulcers and red spots or blisters on the hands and feet.

Check if it's hand, foot and mouth disease

The first signs of hand, foot and mouth disease can be:

After a few days mouth ulcers and a rash will appear.

Mouth ulcer on a young child's tongue.Ulcers appear in the mouth and on the tongue. These can be painful and make it difficult to eat or drink.

Small blister on young child's finger.Red spots, which develop into blisters, usually appear on the hands and feet.

Grey blister on a young child's toe.The blisters are grey in the centre and can be painful.

The symptoms are usually the same in adults and children, but can be much worse in adults.

It's possible to get hand, foot and mouth disease more than once.

Read more on the NHS website.

Hand, foot and mouth disease usually lasts up to 10 days. Until then, you can reduce pain with things like mouth ulcer gels, spays and painkillers.

Self-care

You cannot take antibiotics or medicines to cure hand, foot and mouth disease. It has to run its course. It usually gets better in 7 to 10 days.

To help with the symptoms:

  • drink fluids to prevent dehydration – avoid acidic drinks, such as fruit juice
  • eat soft foods like soup – avoid hot and spicy foods
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help ease a sore mouth or throat

Medical treatments

Speak to a pharmacist for advice about treatments, such as mouth ulcer gels, sprays and mouthwashes, to relieve pain.

They can tell you which ones are suitable for children.

Read more on the NHS website.