Home Remedies for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
If you are looking for Home remedies for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, you are at the right place. Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a common childhood infection caused by virus, coxsackievirus. It is most common in children going to kindergarten, but teenagers and adults may also get the virus. Usually, teens and adults develop antibodies to the disease by being exposed to the virus in their early years. Once your child heals, the probability of him contracting this disease again will be rare, as his body will develop immunity towards this virus.
Different from Foot and Mouth Disease
Please note that Hand Foot and Mouth Disease isn’t the same as foot-and-mouth disease also known as mad cow disease. Foot and Mouth disease is an infectious viral disease found in farm animals like cows, sheep, goats, and pigs. Humans can’t get foot and mouth disease. Different viruses cause the two diseases.
Symptoms of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease 1
The primary symptoms of HFMD are much like a common cold.
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
After a day or two, the above symptoms tend to go away and you might see:
- Small painful sores or ulcers inside mouth, tongue and inner cheeks, and gums.
- Small blisters or red spots on the hands and feet. These may or may not be itchy. These itchy rashes can appear elsewhere on the body too, such as the knees and elbows.
- Tenderness or pain in hands and feet.
- Poor appetite due to painful swallowing.
Causes of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
HFMD is often caused by a strain of coxsackievirus, most commonly coxsackievirus A16 or sometimes the enterovirus 71 or other types of coxsackie viruses.
It is highly contagious and easily spreads from person to person when someone comes in contact with the body fluids of an infected person.
Diagnosis for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
Your doctor will inquire about the symptoms of your child and will check for any sores or rashes. Typically, this is enough for them to determine if it’s hand, foot, and mouth disease. But they may also swab the throat of your child or take a stool or blood sample for lab tests.
Treatment of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
There’s no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Signs and symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease go away on its own and usually clears up in seven to 10 days. Most of the treatments are aimed at relieving the symptoms.
- Paracetamol is given to help keep the temperature down.
- Ointments may be given to soothe blisters and rashes.
- A gel is given to help ease the pain of the mouth ulcers. It contains benzydamine or lidocaine that numbs the pain over the ulcers.
- Syrups or lozenges are given to ease painful sore throats.
For hand, foot and mouth diseases, antibiotics are ineffective. Antibiotics generally work on bacterial infections. Since HFMD is a viral illness, it is not effective.
Home Remedies for Treatment of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
There are several home remedies that can help your child overcome the symptoms of this illness.
Lots of Fluids
The most common complication of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is dehydration. Mouth sores can make swallowing painful, so your child may not want to drink a lot. Ensure that your child drinks sufficiently to remain hydrated. If your child is under one year old, continue to give either breast milk, formula, or both. If your child is over one year old, give lots of liquids, such as water, coconut water, milk, apple juice, pomegranate juice.
Gargle with Salt Water
If your child can gargle then you can give a mixture of salt and warm water to gargle with. Mix 1 tsp salt to one glass of water. Do not let your child gulp the saltwater. Make him spit it out. You can make him/her gargle 2 to 3 times a day. You can either use common table salt or Himalayan pink salt. Pink salt is more effective as it helps to balance the pH level inside the mouth. It will help to soothe ulcers in the mouth.
Avoid hot food as it may irritate the sores. You can give cold foods like ice cream, smoothies, shakes, custard and popsicles as they help in numbing the area.
Avoid Spicy and Acidic Food
Avoid hot drinks, sodas, and acidic food like orange juice, cranberry juice, tomatoes because they may irritate the mouth sores and make the pain worse.
Give Soft Foods
Offer soft foods that are easy to swallow, like halwa, upma, khichdi, etc which don’t require much chewing. As it hurts to chew, your child may not want to chew.
Coconut oil has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties 2. You can apply virgin coconut oil with the help of cotton ball to rashes and blisters on the skin.
Neem has several antimicrobial properties and has been used to treat viral diseases for hundreds of years. You can apply neem oil or dried neem powder mixed with water to the rashes on your child’s body.
Aloe vera has antimicrobial properties 3. It contains minerals, vitamins, and several other compounds that are beneficial for the skin. You can apply fresh aloe vera gel to the rashes and blisters on the body for soothing relief.
Colloidal Oatmeal Bath
Oatmeal has impressive anti-inflammatory properties 4. An oatmeal bath is a good way to get relief. But it’s not the same type of oatmeal you eat for breakfast. Colloidal oatmeal binds to your skin and builds a protective barrier. It also helps to preserve moisture and ease inflammation. For decades, people have used it to ease irritated skin. Sprinkle 1 cup of oatmeal to 1 tub of water. Soak it for around 10-15 minutes. Take bath with this water.
What do I do if my child is diagnosed with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease?
Wherever possible, keep him/her away from other kids. Many kindergartens and some schools will deny admission to children with hands and mouths until the rash is absolutely gone.
In the first 7 days of the outbreak, your child is the most contagious. The blisters can last longer, but they should no longer be contingent at this point.
The disease can, however, take a dramatic turn in some cases and lead to life-threatening complications such as meningitis and encephalitis. It is also advised to watch for worsening symptoms and avail medical intervention.
Prevention of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
The best way to minimize the risks is avoiding infected children and good personal hygiene. The following steps will help in preventing HFMD in babies especially if you have more than one child and one is infected.
- If you have the virus on your hands, and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, you may be infected with hand, foot, and mouth disease. Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands to minimize your risk of being sick.
- Carefully wash your hands, especially after changing a diaper or wiping a child’s nose.
- Help kids to keep their hands clean.
- Teach children while they are sneezing or cough to cover their mouth and nose. A tissue is best, but their shirt’s sleeve also works.
- Surfaces and shared objects such as toys and doorknobs should be washed and disinfected.
- Don’t hug or kiss someone who has the disease of the hand, foot, and mouth.
- Don’t share any cups or utensils with an infected person.
- Until their symptoms are gone, don’t send your child to school or daycare.
I hope you found this post helpful and found Home Remedies for Treatment of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease useful.
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