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Stages of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: Symptoms and Cure

Stages of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease

Typically predominant in children, hand, foot, and mouth disease results from a viral infection. With a recent spike of 250 cases in Mumbai until August 2022, the disease has become quite concerning for parents of affected children.

Commonly caused by the coxsackievirus, which easily spreads among children in daycare centers and schools, although treatable, it’s highly contagious and weakens the immune system.

This article will provide you with information on the different stages of hand, foot, and mouth disease and its cure so you can protect your loved ones at the right time.

Before we continue, let’s first understand what the disease entails.

What Is Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a rare but common virus infection that typically starts with a fever and is followed by rashes in the chin area, inside the mouth, and on the hands and feet. Kids affected by this coxsackievirus, which belongs to the group of viruses named non polio enteroviruses, suffer from a high fever, which usually persists for three to five days.

Children are more likely to catch this virus during the summer, and it’s more likely to affect children under five years of age.

Adults, too, get affected by this disease, but in most cases, the symptoms are mild and may be treated within a few days with proper rest and medication. Adults can spread the disease even if they don’t experience any symptoms.

Different Stages of the Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

1. Fever

At first, you’ll catch a fever that will last for three to five days. Symptoms include a sore throat, a feverish feeling, a lack of appetite, and a decrease in water consumption.

2. Mouth Sores

You will notice sores in the mouth within a few days of catching the fever. They usually start as tiny red spots on the insides of the mouth and the tongue. Over time, they blister and become increasingly painful.

A few symptoms of these sores are decreased appetite, excessive drooling, and an affinity towards consuming only liquids (as the sores make it painful to chew and swallow food). If you observe any of these signs in your children, then it’s advisable to get a quick checkup to treat the disease at its early stage.

3. Skin Rash

Your child may develop rashes on different body parts once infected with the hand, foot, and mouth disease. These rashes are prominent on the palms, soles of the feet, and even buttocks, legs, and arms in some cases.

It’s important to keep these rashes clean and untouched, as the blisters forming from the rashes can spread the disease to other parts of the body.

How to Cure Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease?

Doctors diagnose hand, foot, and mouth disease by checking for physical symptoms such as the severity of the rashes or blisters and other side effects that may occur due to the disease.

Doctors usually provide over-the-counter medicines to relieve pain and fever. They may also prescribe numbing sprays or mouthwashes so that children can eat and drink and get the nutrition they need.

Doctors will also advise parents to avoid feeding their children spicy foods. Instead, parents will have to feed their children mildly flavoured semi-solid foods.

If the sores inside the mouth get worse, drinking cold water or sucking ice cubes for a few seconds can also provide relief.

In scenarios where the fever prolongs for over five days and the blisters get worse, the patient must be admitted to the hospital for immediate treatment.


As the disease is contagious, parents must take the necessary precautions to prevent this virus from affecting their kids.

Here are some precautions parents can take:

  • Make sure everyone at home washes their hands regularly, wears clean clothes, and sanitizes their hands frequently to limit the spread of the virus.
  • Ensuring that children’s belongings, such as toys, clothes, and plates, are always kept clean.
  • Wearing gloves while changing diapers is also advisable, as the virus can also be transmitted through stools.

Know the Stages of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease and Take Action Today!

If proper precaution is taken during the initial stages of hand, foot, and mouth disease, the patient can recover quickly. As with all diseases, prevention is the best cure. So, take precautions and be safe.If you’re worried that your little one might be a victim of this disease, there’s nothing to stress about! Make sure you seek medical help if you observe any of the above symptoms and get the best treatment from Ayu Health.

About the Author

Dr Rachana Shilpakar
Dr. Rachana Shilpakar
MBBS, MD(Dermatology) at Ayu Health | Website | + posts

Dr. Rachana Shilpakar is a renowned Dermatologist currently practicing at Ayu Health Hospital, Bangalore.

Dr. Rachana Shilpakar is a dermatologist with over 12 years of experience in the field. She has experience in clinical & aesthetic dermatology & she is well versed with all procedures & lasers. She is specialized surgeon in Dermatology

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