Hand, foot and mouth disease in adults

The hand, foot and mouth disease is a virus that mainly affects children. But this disease also sometimes occurs in adults. This article provides information about this disease in adults. What are the complaints? What is the course of the disease? How does it look? This page including photos may give you answers to many of your questions. The hand, foot, mouth disease is a disease that is often caused by the coxsackie virus. The disease is highly contagious and is seen as a childhood disease. However, as with other teething problems, it can also occur in adults. In the Netherlands you do not often hear about this disease, we are more familiar with childhood diseases such as chickenpox. In other countries such as France, this disease is more common in mainly children (maladie mains-pieds-bouche). There too, it is rare in adults, so the disease is not recognized quickly.

Complaints and symptoms

Flu symptoms such as fever, sore throat (sore throat) and cough.
After 1 or 2 days small red spots appear on hands, feet and in the mouth. The hands and feet give a feeling of being on fire. This is very painful! Furthermore, people experience severe sore throat, blisters on the tongue and an increase / fever.
Day 2 to 6: The red spots become (subcutaneous) blisters and ulcers. The fingertips / toes are red and swollen. (see own photo article). There is also still sore throat (inflammation). The burning sensation on hands and feet slowly diminishes.
After the 6th day, hands and feet are starting to shed. Fingertips and toes shed first, then the entire (bottom of the) foot and hand (palm). All calluses release and you see new (red and fragile) skin. The skin feels numb, as if it has been burned. Shedding can last for 3 to 4 weeks and is not painful.

How does it look?

First a few small red spots appear. In 24 hours this becomes more and more and the feeling of fire arises in the fingertips and toes. The red spots become larger and subcutaneous blisters and ulcers arise. It looks like chicken pox, but is limited to the hands (especially palms), feet (especially the bottom / soles) and the mouth. In the mouth such as; the inside of the lip, on the tongue, inside of the cheek, but also around the nose a spot may appear here and there. After almost a week, hands and feet get very tired. Calluses can let go. Again, this is not painful. Only the new skin is vulnerable.

Is there a treatment for Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease?

There is no special treatment for hand, foot, mouth disease. Pain relief such as (paracetamol / aspirin) can be taken for the fever and for the burning sensation. The doctor could write an antibiotic cure for the throat infection. Generally it is just sick. A cooling compress can temporarily relieve the burning sensation. Finally, the doctor can prescribe any ointments for relief of the complaints.

Is it preventable?

No, it is unavoidable. Although most adults do not get the disease, there are always exceptions, just like other teething problems.

How long is it contagious?

The incubation period (time between becoming infected and becoming ill) is usually between 3 to 6 days. Contamination mainly takes place via the air (including coughing). The fluid from the blisters is also contagious and the disease can even be transmitted through the stool.
The disease is mainly just before there are complaints and during the disease itself highly contagious.

Video: HAND, FOOT and MOUTH DISEASE. Symptoms in Children and Adults (April 2020).

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