Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

What is hand, foot, and mouth disease?

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause sores in the mouth, on the hands, feet, and buttocks, and sometimes on other areas of the body including the face and genitalia. It is possible to get sores in only some of these areas.



These sores can look like small red bumps or blisters and can be painful or itchy. The illness can last for 7-10 days and is spread via saliva, nasal secretions, fluid from sores with blisters, and stool.

  • Fever
  • Sores in the mouth, hands, feet, buttocks, face, genitalia, and other areas of the body
  • Pain
  • Itching



The infection resolves on its own. Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms such as fever, pain, and itching. To feel better, you can treat the symptoms:

  • Over-the-counter pain-relieving medicine for fever and pain
  • Over-the-counter anti-itching medication. This may also be prescribed by your medical provider.

When to seek medical help

  • Persistent sores
  • Severe headaches, stiff neck, and fever present after 10 days.