Embarrassing Bodies: Live..., 8:00pm Tuesday 29th April 2014 on Channel 4. Catch up for free »

Conditions

Hand, Foot and Mouth

hand, foot and mouth disease - Licensed under CC from MidgleyDJ - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hand_Foot_Mouth_Disease.png

Hand foot and mouth disease is a viral infection that causes a sore throat, fever and little ulcers to form in the mouth, on the hands, feet, legs and also the buttocks and the back. It’s a fairly common condition in children under 10, and though it is inconvenient, unpleasant and easily spread, it is not particularly harmful. Hand, foot and mouth is not the same thing as foot and mouth disease, which affects cows, sheep and pigs and is only very, very rarely passed on to humans.

The early symptoms of hand, foot and mouth are similar to a cold, and the disease is spread in much the same way: through coming into direct contact with someone who is already infected, especially when they are sneezing or coughing. It can also be spread by touching the blisters themselves, or by coming into contact with an infected child’s poo – including dirty nappies. The symptoms themselves last for about a week, but children can still pass it on to others two or three weeks after the symptoms have gone.

The blisters themselves will appear inside the mouth (these can be on the tongue, the gums or inside the cheeks) and there may also be a red rash, particularly on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, but potentially spreading across the body. These spots or blisters don’t itch, but the area will feel sore and tender.

There’s no cure for hand, foot and mouth, but in most cases the body will fight off the symptoms in about a week. Junior paracetemol will help ease the temperature, and give your child plenty of liquid to keep them hydrated.

Though not harmful, this is a very infectious condition. Unfortunately, there’s not much parents can do to guard against it other than keeping your child away from anyone who is infected, and making sure they keep their hands clean after going to the loo.

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I am 21 in 5 days, my little sister (14) and I caught this off my niece (3) I don't know why they insist that it's only really common in kids because it's not. In every other forum it seems like the parents have caught it off their children and had far worse symptoms. I hope I'm better for my birthday.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My sons 19 months old covered in red spots and red blisters hes of nursery I hope he gets well soon he misses his nursery very much





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

my 5 year old boy has the spots around and in his mouth only, no spots on his hands and feet.. he has all the other symptoms...can it still be hand foot and mouth??





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My boy had that for 2 days, then the rash appeared all over his body. Take him to the docs xx

How do children get foot and mouth?Ive never heard of it.Shocked!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

its not foot & mouth...thats the one the animals get!!! its hand, foot and mouth, very easily spread through coughs and sneezes, the fluid from the spots, feaces...;-(

My 3 year old has hand foot and mouth for the 2nd time. I'm worried because I'm 12weeks pregnant. Am I at risk?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi my son of 2 1/2 has got hfmd I work in a nursing home and would just like to know am I able to go to work or would I be passing this on? in the home many thanks





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

hi my 2 year old has what looks like hfmd but also a few tiny spots on body and chest and complaining of a sore hand all day could this be the strat of bacterial meningitis.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My 3 year old has hand foot and mouth for the 2nd time. I'm worried because I'm 18 weeks pregnant. Am I at risk?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Im 17 years old and I have got a red blood spots on the top of my moutb, my tonsils are all inflamed and yellow, I have a big ulcer on my lip, I went to on call doctors and they told me it was ceptic tonsillitis and have given me penicillin but I have now developing red spots on my hands and feet, skme have turned into blisters on my toes and painful. Could this be hands foot and mouth disease?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

My 3 year old daughter got what I thought was my cold until she said her tongue hurt. She had big white blisters on her tongue. I took her docs and I thought it was weird wen he asked to see her hands and feet then I saw the little blisters. . He said hand foot and mouth which ive neva heard of, she was ok and not had many blisters but her tongue sore to eat so shes eatin ice poles and drinkin plenty. . Been off nursery for few days and she cant wait to go bk bless her





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Dribbling

    In Conditions - All babies and young childen dribble or drool until they learn to s…

  2. Intestinal Worms

    In Conditions - There are many different types of intestinal worms and because chil…

  3. Mouth Ulcers

    In Conditions - The mouth is one of the most sensitive areas of the body so when ki…

  4. Psoriasis

    In Conditions - Psoriasis takes the form of a shiny, red, raised rash in which the…

  5. Should We Be Worried? - ENT Infections

    In Videos - Dr Christian discusses the commonest ear, nose and throat infection…


More Information

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease usually appear three to five days after infection with the virus. They last for 7 to 10 days before disappearing on their own. Read More »