Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common, mild virus that typically affects young children under the age of five. It’s commonly spread in daycares and other childcare settings, where the virus can easily spread from person to person. Although it’s a mild disease, it can cause pain and discomfort to those who are affected. Check out this list of natural remedies for hand, foot and mouth disease for quick relief and healing.
What is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild, viral infection that causes painful red blisters in the mouth and throat, and a rash on the hands, feet and buttocks area. It’s quite contagious and spreads easily through contact with unwashed hands, feces, saliva, mucus from the nose or fluid from the blisters. It’s common in young children- it most often affects children under the age of five, and symptoms typically last from seven to 10 days. Although cases in adults are rare, occasionally older children, teens and adults will also get the disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?
- Sore throat
- Feeling ill
- Painful red blisters on the tongue, gums and inside the cheeks
- Itchy rash on the palms, soles of feet and buttocks area (rash sometimes has blisters)
- Fussiness in infants and toddlers
- Loss of appetite
What Causes Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?
Hand, foot and mouth disease is most commonly caused by coxsackievirus 16, which belongs to a group of viruses called non-polio enteroviruses. It’s most often transmitted through secretions from the nose and throat, but can also be transmitted by fluid from blisters and feces. The virus is airborne and can spread through close personal contact and can also live on a variety of objects and surfaces for some time.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is frequently found in childcare settings, where frequent diaper changes and potty training allows the virus to be spread quickly from person to person. Kids also tend to put their hands in their mouth. Poor hygiene practices, especially while in a group of children, is the most common way to catch the disease.
How to Prevent Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
The most effective way to prevent hand, foot and mouth disease is frequent hand washing and avoiding close contact with those who have the disease. Good hygiene practices are essential and should be taught from an early age. Household surfaces, including bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, countertops and toys should be thoroughly disinfected regularly to help prevent the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease.
6 Natural Remedies for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
1. Coconut Water Ice Cubes
Staying hydrated is important when you have hand, foot and mouth disease, since sores and blisters in the mouth can make eating and drinking really painful. Ice cubes are a great way to keep hydration levels up, while also relieving pain and discomfort. Regular ice cubes and great, but coconut water has a high dose of potassium and electrolytes, which help fight dehydration.
2. Salt Water Rinse
Combine ½ teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt and warm water and rinse your mouth three to four times a day to provide relief from painful blisters and mouth sores. Pink salt balances the pH levels inside the mouth and supports a healthy immune system. You should rinse with salt after every meal to get rid of any potential irritants in the mouth.
3. Epsom Salt Bath
If you’re dealing with a skin rash, add some epsom salts to bath water to soothe rashes on the body and speed up healing. It can also help with itchiness. Epsom salts are high in magnesium, which has been found to reduce inflammation. Add two cups of epsom salts to a standard size tub, allow it to dissolve, then soak for 10 to 20 minutes.
4. Ginger Root Tea
Ginger is a natural pain reliever and is also used to heal wounds and ulcers. To make ginger tea, slice or chop up ginger root and simmer it with boiling water for about 20 minutes. Allow it to cool to room temperature, then add a touch of raw honey for sweetness and healing properties. This should feel super soothing for the throat and mouth and speed up healing.
5. Cold Soups
Stay away from rough, crunchy foods that will likely be too painful to eat. Healthy, cold soups will provide relief while also ensuring the body gets the nutrients it needs for proper recovery. Think ingredients like cucumbers, carrots, coconut, bell peppers and butternut squash. Avoid foods that are spicy, salty or acidic and stick to neutral foods while recovering.
6. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel can be helpful as it soothes pain from the rashes, prevents itching and promotes skin healing. It has antimicrobial properties and helps boost immunity, as it contains minerals, vitamins and other beneficial compounds that are good for the skin. Apply aloe vera gel to rashes and blisters to help with relief. You can also drink aloe vera juice to help speed up healing.
When to See a Doctor
Hand, foot and mouth disease is typically a mild illness that only causes fever and mild sickness for a few days. Get in touch with your doctor if your child is younger than six months, has a weakened immune system or has mouth sores or a sore throat that make it painful to drink fluids. This is especially important if you’re worried they’re becoming dehydrated. You should also call your healthcare provider if your child’s symptoms are severe, if they don’t improve after 10 days, or if their fever does not subside after 3 days. If your child is not alert or responsive, seek medical attention immediately.
Hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild illness that can be painful and uncomfortable. Try these home remedies to get relief and speed up healing.
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