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Hand, foot and mouth disease

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

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

Hand, foot and mouth disease usually lasts up to 10 days. Painkillers and mouth ulcer gels or spays may help reduce pain.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease include mouth ulcers plus spots and 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.

Hand, foot and mouth 1
Ulcers appear in the mouth and on the tongue. These can be painful and make it difficult to eat or drink.

Hand, foot and mouth 2
Raised spots usually appear on the hands and feet, and sometimes on the thighs and bottom as well. The spots can look pink, red, or darker than surrounding skin, depending on your skin tone.

Hand, foot and mouth 3
The spots become blisters which appear grey or lighter than surrounding skin and can be painful.

The symptoms are usually the same in adults and children, but they can be worse in babies and children under 5.

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. Painkillers and mouth ulcer gels or spays may help reduce pain.

Self-care

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

To help the symptoms:

  • drink fluids to prevent dehydration – avoid acidic drinks, such as fruit juice
  • eat soft foods like yoghurt – 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.