What is Hand, Foot & Mouth, HFMD?

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common childhood illness and is caused by the coxsackie A-16 virus. Symptoms than may arise with HFMD include:

  • Fever (100.4 or higher)

  • Small, painful red spots (blisters) on hands, feet and mouth

*Blisters may spread to arms, legs and face
These symptoms typically arise 3 – 5 days after exposure to the virus. Fevers typically occur in the first few days, followed by blisters.



Since HFMD is a viral disease, antibiotics are not needed. Symptoms of the virus that cause discomfort may be treated with over the counter medication, Tylenol or ibuprofen. See our dosing chart here. It is highly recommended that children drink lots of fluids; cold drinks soothe irritation in the mouth and help children stay hydrated. There is no special treatment for blisters; wash the skin per your normal routine with soap and mild water.

Progression / What to Expect

Fever may last 2 – 3 days
Blisters around the mouth may last up to 7 days
Blisters on the hands and feet can last up to 10 days. Peeling may occur during healing.

Call our office if there are signs of dehydration, or if the fever (100.4 or higher) lasts more than 72 hours.

Children can typically return to school or daycare after the fever has been gone for over 24 hours.

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Office Hours

Frederick County Pediatrics
11717 Old National Pike
New Market, MD 21774


Tel  (301) 882-7489

Fax   (301) 882-7520

Mon  9AM-6PM

Tue  9AM-6PM

Wed  9AM-5PM

Thu  9AM-6PM

Fri  9AM-4PM

Sat  9AM-12PM

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