The Truth About Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

December 10 - baby toesfinDr Anthony Weinert, a Michigan foot specialist and recognized authority as well as leading expert on foot health and wellness practicing in both Warren and Troy, Michigan talks about what parents need to know about Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease:

When it comes to diseases that can be passed between individuals, especially children, myths, misunderstanding and mistruths seem to spring up that just complicate understanding the condition. This is certainly true for the very common Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.

A Basic Overview
The pesky bug responsible for hand, foot and mouth disease is an entrovirus and most often the coxsackievirus. This virus lives in the digestive tract of the body and is shed from the body when the child has a bowel movement. Transmission of the virus occurs when children don’t wash their hands after having contact with the anal area or feces or after using the restroom.

This condition can occur at any time of the year. The group of children that is most at risk for this condition is under the age of 4, but it can occur with children and less commonly with adults of any age.

The Symptoms
The symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease can be mild to severe and may include blisters in the mouth and the throat that may burst to form ulcers that look similar to cancer sores. On the feet and hands you will notice a reddish blistered area that can be flat and spotty or more blister-like in appearance. It is not typically itchy.

The blisters on the feet and hands are not typically painful but the lesions in the mouth can be very painful and the child may not want to eat or drink. Some children will develop flu like symptoms and may have a fever.

The Treatment
As this is caused by a virus there is no cure for hand, foot and mouth disease however the symptoms typically go away on their own within 3 to 7 days. For blisters on the hands and feet simply wash with clear warm water and pat dry. Leave the area open to the air to allow natural healing. If there are open blisters topical antibiotics can be used to prevent infections. Keep children off their feet as much as possible while the blisters are present to allow healing to occur.

Teaching children to wash their hands using soap and water after using the bathroom is highly effective in preventing the spread of this condition. Parents should also be aware that disinfecting the toilet, sink, taps and tubs is important for several weeks after child has been infected.

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While visiting Dr. Weinert’s website you can request a free copy of his written book “Stop Feet Pain Fast- A Users Guide to Foot & Ankle Health” which will answer all the questions you have related to your foot and ankle health and wellness. Or check out Happy Feet Radio at www.docweinert.com or itunes!