Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a common viral infection that mostly affects infants and children (below 5 years of age). It may even spread from person to person. The affected person may carry the virus even after weeks since the initial outbreak. But a few simple Home Remedies For Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease and lifestyle changes can treat and prevent the infection from spreading further. Continue reading to know more.

What Is Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a mild but contagious infection quite common in children. Its main cause is the coxsackievirus. It is characterized by mouth sores and rashes on the hands and feet.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is the most infectious in the first seven days. The virus often stays in the body for weeks and can easily spread to others.

How Can You Get Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease? How Does It Spread?

The viral infection easily spreads through the spit or feces of the affected children. Even close contact with an affected individual puts other people at a high risk of contracting the disease. Wiping the nose of an affected child or changing his/her diapers are other ways the disease can spread. Hence, it is important you wash your hands thoroughly after any contact with patients.

Let us now take a quick peek into the cause of this contagious disease.

What Causes Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease?

The most common cause of the hand-foot-and-mouth disease is the coxsackievirus A16 virus. This virus belongs to the group of non-polio enteroviruses.

This infection most often spreads due to oral ingestion of infected food/water. It also spreads from direct contact with infected:

  • Nasal or throat discharge
  • Stool
  • Ruptured blisters
  • Saliva
  • Respiratory droplets from a sneeze or cough

Those with the disease exhibit the following symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease?

The common symptoms associated with hand-foot-and-mouth disease include:

  • A sore throat
  • Fever
  • Appetite loss
  • Irritability (especially in infants and toddlers)
  • Malaise
  • Painful blisters inside the cheeks and on the tongue and gums
  • A red rash with/without blistering that surfaces on the soles, palms, and in some cases, the buttocks

There is no specific treatment for hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The symptoms of this disease usually start easing in 7-10 days. Most treatments are aimed at alleviating symptoms.

While there are many medications available, you can try natural remedies – as they pose the least side effects.

11 Simple Home Remedies For Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease
1. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil
You Will Need
  • 1-2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil
  • Cotton balls
What You Have To Do
  1. Take some virgin coconut oil on a cotton ball.
  2. Apply it to the affected area and leave it on until it dries. You can also leave the oil on overnight.
  3. Discard the used cotton ball.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily for best results.

Why This Works

Coconut oil possesses both anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. These may help treat the blisters and rashes.

2. Baking Soda Bath

Baking Soda Bath
You Will Need
  • ½ cup of baking soda
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add half a cup of baking soda to a tub filled with water. Allow it to dissolve completely.
  2. Soak in the baking soda bath for 15-20 minutes.
  3. You can also use the baking soda solution to rinse your mouth.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

While there is no study to prove this claim, anecdotal evidence suggests that baking soda is anti-inflammatory and can alleviate the symptoms of itching and inflammation.

3. Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom Salt Bath
You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to a tub filled with water. Allow the salt to dissolve completely.
  2. Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Pat your skin dry.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily or every alternate day.

Why This Works

Epsom salt is also referred to as magnesium sulfate, thanks to its composition. Magnesium inhibits inflammation by decreasing the production of inflammatory cytokines in the body. Hence, it could be helpful in soothing the associated blisters and rashes.

4. Essential Oils

a. Lavender Oil

Essential Oils
You Will Need

4-5 drops of lavender oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Add a few drops of lavender oil to your hand/body wash.
  2. Use it regularly.
  3. You can also diffuse some lavender oil around you before bedtime if the symptoms are interrupting your sleep.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily for best results.

Why This Works

Lavender oil is analgesic and anti-inflammatory and can possibly help relieve the painful rashes and blisters.

b. Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil
You Will Need

4-5 drops of tea tree oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Add four to five drops of tea tree oil to your hand/body wash.
  2. Use it regularly.
How Often You Should Do This

You may use the tea tree oil infused hand wash multiple times daily if you are at risk of developing hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil is antimicrobial and can be used to disinfect and sanitize your hands/body from the harmful disease-causing germs.

Caution

Do not use this remedy on babies or pregnant women.

5. Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal Bath
You Will Need
  • 1 cup of oatmeal
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of oatmeal to your bath filled with water.
  2. Mix well and soak in the oatmeal bath for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Pat dry your skin after the bath.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this 1-2 times daily to alleviate the discomfort.

Why This Works

Oatmeal is quite popular in dermatology, owing to its impressive anti-inflammatory properties. These can help soothe the inflammation that accompanies hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

6. Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil

Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil
You Will Need

1 tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Swish a tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil
  2. In your mouth for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Spit the oil and go about your regular oral regimen in the morning.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once daily, preferably every morning.

Why This Works

Oil pulling with coconut oil can help alleviate the painful and inflamed blisters inside the mouth. This is due to the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of coconut oil.

7. Ginger

Ginger
You Will Need
  • 1 inch of sliced ginger
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Boil an inch of sliced ginger in a cup of water.
  2. Simmer and strain.
  3. Allow the solution to cool a bit before consuming it.
How Often You Should Do This

You can drink ginger tea twice daily.

Why This Works

The antiviral property of ginger can speed up the healing of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. Ginger also has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties and can thus help improve the symptoms.

8. Garlic

Garlic
You Will Need

1-2 garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume one to two garlic cloves daily.
  2. Alternatively, you can also add crushed garlic to your favorite salads and dishes
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

The virucidal properties of garlic, combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, may help speed up your recovery from hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

9. Elderberry

Elderberry
You Will Need
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2-3 teaspoons of dried elderberry
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two to three teaspoons of dried elderberry to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and strain.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool a bit.
  5. Consume the warm elderberry tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Elderberry possesses immunity-boosting and antiviral properties that can ease the symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease. It can also accelerate recovery.

10. Licorice Root

Licorice Root
You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of dried licorice tea
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of licorice root to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to steep for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Drink the warm tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily for optimum benefits.

Why This Works

Licorice root is a popular Chinese herb used to treat many illnesses due to its antiviral nature. These antiviral properties can also help treat hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

11. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera
You Will Need

Freshly extracted aloe gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract some gel from an aloe vera leaf.
  2. Whisk it using a spoon.
  3. Apply the gel to the affected areas.
  4. Leave it on for at least 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this twice daily for best results.

Why This Works

Aloe vera gel possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help in soothing the inflamed rashes and painful blisters associated with hand-foot-and-mouth disease.

Listed below are some tips that can keep you from contracting this disease.

How To Prevent Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease

  • Wash your hands multiple times a day, especially if you have been handling diapers or bathing an infected child.
  • Do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with dirty hands.
  • Avoid close contact with affected individuals.
  • Do not share utensils with infected individuals until they have recovered.
  • Disinfect common areas like toilets regularly.
  • Infected individuals must avoid venturing out until advised by the doctor.

These Home Remedies For Hand, Foot, And Mouth Disease tips will definitely help prevent the disease from spreading any further.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease usually eases on its own. Treatment is offered to speed up the recovery. However, in some cases, the disease may take a drastic turn and lead to life-threatening complications like meningitis and encephalitis. Hence, it is recommended to look for worsening symptoms and avail medical intervention accordingly.

Hope this post has cleared most of your queries regarding hand-foot-and-mouth disease. For any more doubts, feel free to get in touch with us via the comments section below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How is hand-foot-and-mouth disease diagnosed?

A throat swab or stool test is used to diagnose the disease. Your physician can distinguish hand-foot-and-mouth disease from other viral infections based on:

  • The appearance of the symptoms
  • The pattern of the symptoms
  • The age of the affected individual

Is hand-foot-and-mouth disease contagious?

Yes, hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a contagious infection. It is the most contagious during the first week of the person getting infected.

What is the best cream for hand-foot-and-mouth disease?

Topical application of anesthetic formulations like viscous lidocaine, dyclonine solution, or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is often used to treat oral ulcers. Any of the above natural remedies will also give great results in soothing the symptoms of hand-foot-and-mouth disease without any side effects.

Natural Home Remedies for Treating Hand and Mouth Disease in Children

A number of kids under five are afflicted with hand and mouth disease. While this is not a life threatening disease, it is important to intervene and treat it before the infection spreads. In conjunction with the medication that your pediatrician recommends, you could also try these home remedies that work like a charm in alleviating the many symptoms and tackling the infection.

Remedies for Treating Hand and Mouth Disease in Children

Hand and mouth diseases are common in children below five years. At this tender age, their systems are susceptible to adverse effects of microbes and viral infections. In most of the cases, the parents rush to the paediatric doctors to get a remedy. These diseases may result in eruptions on the skin, rashes and blisters.

The symptoms last for about a week or so, and then subside with medical treatment. However, these diseases are common and you can treat them at home using natural remedies. Read on to know twenty-one home remedies for treating hand and mouth diseases in children.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm, in dried form, is one of the most effective remedies for hand and mouth diseases in children. It is delicious and the flavour is subtle for the kids. Kids are often reluctant to take strong medicines that have a bitter taste. However, you can use this natural remedy to treat the hand and mouth diseases in children. Add a little honey in raw form as aflavouring agent.

Peppermint

Peppermint is generally used for flavouring different drinks. It has certain healing powers, that you need to provide to your kids. Add a bit of peppermint to chocolate shakes or other drinks and feed it to your child. It acts fast and helps them to get rid of the disease. This is most effective for blisters and boils.

Rooibos tea

This tea is red in color and has an African origin. It can be paired up with elderberry tea, although you can make individual drinks with it. It has powerful antiviral properties which help to fight diseases. The sweet flavor of the tea is liked by children and you can easily feed them with this powerful antiviral agent.

Thyme

Thyme contains an essential oil, volatile in nature. It has tremendous abilities to heal diseases caused by bacteria and virus. Thyme also has certain anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties. It can effectively deal with viral infections. Make sure you have this in your kit.

Sage

Most of the time, kids have sores in their mouths and hands. The area becomes inflamed. In these cases, sage acts as an effective remedy for your children. It has strong antiviral properties which can cure the infection in a few days. However, you need to consult a physician regarding how to use it to cure hand and mouth diseases.

Rosemary

At times, sores in the kids spread fast and lead to other infections. You need to prevent the further spread of these diseases. Rosemary is an effective remedy for this purpose, as its strong anti-viral nature prevents the sores to lead to further infections. It stops the spread of viruses and cures the diseases in hand and mouth in a short time.

Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea helps the children to relax and sleep. It contains anti-microbial features and comes handy during an infection. It is a natural and safe remedy that heals the infection in little time. The child also gets a sound sleep that is conductive to the healing process. This is one of the most commonly used natural remedies during an infection.

Epsom salt

Epsom salt carries a number of natural minerals that help to cure infections and blisters. Mix this salt in lukewarm water and dip the infected areas on the skin of your child. You can also use this water to bathe the kids. The rashes disappear when it is carried out at regular intervals.

Redmond clay

This is a natural clay and is immensely beneficial in dealing with skin issues. They can flush off toxins from the skins of your child and helps to heal infections. It should be used after a bath, when the skin is clean. Apply Redmond clay on the skin of your child and let it work on its own.

Animal fats

Certain animal fats and bone broths are useful for treating hand and mouth diseases in children. However, they might cause irritation in the digestive system, as all the kids do not have the same resistance. Have a word with the doctor before you prepare these broths for your child. It will help to get rid of skin and mouth infections quickly.

Lavender

The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties present in lavender oil are beneficial for kids suffering from hand and mouth diseases. It can also be paired up with a number of other natural ingredients for curing viral infections on the skin. It also contains certain anti-fungal properties that help to combat skin infections.

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