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Can Adults Get Hand Foot And Mouth And Is It Treatable?

Hand Foot And Mouth Everyone wants to avoid illness for as long as possible. Sickness can put you out of commission for several days or even weeks, and you have work to do. There are many different types of illness; some are caused by bacteria, and others are a form of a virus. What’s more, there are even illnesses that only affect a certain age group.

Hand foot and mouth is an ailment that is often associated with young children. However, by reading this article you may learn more about this illness than you thought possible. So, let’s explore hand, foot, and mouth to discover whether you should be concerned about it.

What Is Hand Foot And Mouth

The well-known illness, hand, foot, and mouth disease is a viral infection that mainly infects children under the age of ten. It is passed on from person to person via errant coughs, sneezes, and blister

fluid. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for the virus to spread, especially among young children, and the symptoms will begin to show within the first five days of infection.


There are several symptoms that come with hand, foot, and mouth. Most people will suffer from a regular fever, loss of appetite, and rash-like blisters on the hands and feet. However, the part of this disease you should be concerned about comes in the form of blisters and sores on the insides of the cheeks, gums, and tongue. As you can see, this disease gets its name from the range of physical symptoms that its patients receive.

While hand, foot, and mouth disease is mostly spread amongst children, it can affect anyone at any age. It is only associated with children due to the rate it spreads among the young population at pre-schools and nurseries. However, it is still able to infect an adult if they are unfortunate enough to come into direct contact with the virus.

Hand, Foot, And Mouth In Adults

Although it is rare, adults still can contract hand, foot, and mouth disease. However, the main difference in this form of the virus is that many adults will not show symptoms when they contract the disease. It is still spread throughout the adult population the same way it is through children, but adults are far more able to control the spread of their bodily fluids.

Unfortunately, a few adult people in the population will catch hand, foot, and mouth and exhibit all the painful symptoms. Sadly, there is no medical cure for hand, foot, and mouth disease, but there are some things that you can do to lessen its effects.

Stay Home

Your first responsibility once you learn of your diagnosis is to stay away from other people. While you may believe that you can control the spread of the virus, you are better off isolating yourself for the protection of those around you. What’s more, walking around with sores on your feet is rather painful.

The symptoms should pass in around seven to ten days, which isn’t too long compared to other diseases. Put your feet up and relax to give yourself the best chance at healing quickly. If the symptoms persist, make sure you contact your doctor for further advice.

Hand Foot And Mouth Stay Hydrated

As with most diseases, your body will have a much better chance of fighting off the virus if it is in good shape. Although it may be painful to drink the water due to the sores in your mouth, you must stay hydrated. Chapped lips and a dry throat will only exacerbate the discomfort you are experiencing. Furthermore, dehydration will cause your skin to dry out. Again, this will only worsen the rashes on your hands and feet. Try to make sure you are drinking more than your fair share of water to help your body heal itself.

Take Painkillers

Of course, the hardest part of this experience is the pain. The fever can be managed by keeping your temperature down, but your body needs sleep to heal properly. You will struggle to achieve a proper eight hours every night with an aching in your mouth, palms, and feet. It is perfectly safe to take ibuprofen or paracetamol to reduce your discomfort, just follow the instructions on the packet.

Suck On Ice

The sores in your mouth are likely to be very uncomfortable to the touch. Unfortunately, there is no way to close your mouth without anything inside touching each other. What’s more, eating is a task that is going to be a lot harder to accomplish. Your only course of action in this scenario is numbing your tongue and cheeks.

Therefore, you will benefit greatly from sucking on ice cubes. You can buy some flavoured ice pops to get a little bit of sweetness from the experience, and this process also helps you stay hydrated.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Many people try to give their bodies as many vitamins as possible when they are feeling sick. The logic behind this is sound. Healthy food is going to help you to feel healthy. Unfortunately, there are some vitamin-rich foods that you will want to avoid when you have hand, foot, and mouth disease.

Fruits are full of citric acids, and these liquids can be quite sharp at the best of times. However, the acids within these fruits can cause you a lot more pain with a mouth full of blisters, making your condition worse. Try to stay away from any food and drink that is acidic, and you can avoid this problem.

Avoid Spicy Food

It should go without saying, but you should also try to avoid eating spicy foods when you are suffering from hand, foot, and mouth. While a warm and hearty meal like curry can help you recover from some of your feverish symptoms, it will only seek to cause you more pain. The last thing you want is a mouth full of fiery sores, so make sure you are eating responsibly. Soft foods are your best bet when it comes to hand, foot, and mouth disease, and make sure you are getting enough calories to help your body fight against the virus.

Rinse After Eating

One of the biggest causes of bacteria in the mouth is a trail of leftover food in your teeth after a meal. This bacterium is normally reduced through brushing your teeth; however, it is far more dangerous when you have an illness like hand, foot, and mouth. Any of the sores in your mouth can become exposed at any time, allowing the bacteria to enter and cause an infection.

That is why it is extremely important that you rinse your mouth out fully after every meal. You shouldn’t use something acidic like mouthwash, just a normal glass of water will do. So long as you remove most of the excess food left behind, you should be fine.


Hand, foot, and mouth disease is an unpleasant experience all around so let’s be thankful that it is not that prevalent among adults. At least now you know how to deal with the symptoms if you or your loved ones ever come into contact with this nasty virus, so make sure you keep this information stored safely.

Image Credits:

Image 1: KlatschmohnAcker, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Image 2: BruceBlaus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 28th April 2022.

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