Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFM) is a viral infection usually caused by the enterovirus or coxsackievirus. It is most common in children younger than 5 and is very contagious. Most symptoms present and self-resolve within 7-10 days.
Symptoms begin with fever, general feeling of unwell, loss of appetite & sore throat. Usually, a day or 2 after these symptoms, the development of mouth sores or skin rashes will present. The mouth sores can be very painful, and sometimes blister. Body rashes present on the feet and hands (but sometimes also appear on the knee, buttocks, genital, and elbow area) as flat, red spots. They don’t typically itch and can also blister. Onychomadesis can be a late development of HFM (with a latency period of 1 to 2 months) where partial or complete nail shedding occurs. It is typically painless.
Natural remedies for Hand foot & Mouth
The main treatment for HFM is comfort measures. In our home we do not typically reduce fevers. This is the body’s natural response and we don’t suppress it.
Encourage fluid intake. The main concern with HFM is dehydration, because the sores in the mouth are painful and make children not want to drink. If the child isn’t wanting to drink liquid, try making popsicles out of elderberry syrup or coconut water. The coldness will help soothe the sores.
A potent (& tasty) antiviral! I offer DIY kits on my site, or you can grab a pre-made tincture from MaryRuth Organics.
Run a warm bath with ½ C bentonite clay and ½ cup Epsom salt, along with a splash of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of lavender essential oil for soothing.
Coconut oil contains antiviral properties and can help soothe sores. If your child is old enough, have them “oil pull” - which is basically just swishing a tbsp of coconut oil around in their mouth for as long as tolerated. You can also rub coconut oil over the external rashes.
Quercetin has been shown to fight coxsackie virus. There are many food sources of quercetin, but it is also available in supplement form. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3608275
A calming herb that is antiviral & very safe for children. I would use the tincture from MaryRuth Organics. PARSONS15 saves you 15%
If the illness is hanging on after a few days and symptoms are still intense, I would incorporate this oil internally. Take one drop per day. (You can do a veggie cap with it, or just swallow in some water).
This is not medical advice, and you should always do you own research and consult a trusted health care source for any questions or concerns.