Reviewed by Dr Jessica Gunawan and Physician Brandon Yew on October 21, 2022
How To Manage Hand Foot And Mouth Disease In Kids And Adults
Published | 7 min read
Hand foot and mouth disease isn't as common in adults as it is in children, but you can still get it. These prevention tips and remedies can help.
However, because it’s highly contagious, it’s not uncommon for adults to get it, too.
This article discusses several facts about hand foot and mouth disease, its causes and symptoms, and the available remedies and prevention steps to take.
What Is Hand Foot And Mouth Disease?
Similarly, people can also expose themselves to infection if they touch an infected person’s feces or contaminated objects. You can also get it if you are exposed to respiratory droplets that contain virus particles after a sick person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms Of Hand Foot And Mouth Disease
Interestingly, infected adults may not present with any physical symptoms of hand foot and mouth disease. Therefore, it can be difficult to get treatment before infecting other people.
Children are likely to present with sores and skin rashes.
The first signs of infection are fatigue, a fever, sore throat, or lack of appetite. Subsequently, the fever can develop into painful sores in the mouth. Medically known as herpangina, these sores will usually present at the back of the throat or on the roof of the mouth, tonsils, uvula, or tongue, can blister, and cause extreme pain.
At the same time, an itchy skin rash may also develop on a person’s palms, toes, or feet soles. These tiny red spots can also progress to other areas like the buttocks, stomach, and genital area.
How To Prevent Hand Foot And Mouth Disease
Unfortunately, there is no cure or vaccine available for this disease. Nevertheless, a person usually recovers within 7-10 days. On a brighter note, you can take a few steps to resist a potential infection.
Practice good hygiene
Washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and clean water can help to prevent an infection. Ideally, adults should wash their hands immediately after changing a child’s diaper, using the toilet, blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing, or attending to a sick person’s needs.
Alternatively, if a person doesn’t have access to soap and clean water, they may opt to use an alcohol-based sanitizer to quickly reduce the number of germs on their hands.
In addition, it’s important to disinfect frequently touched surfaces with a chlorine bleach solution or soap, or detergent-based household cleaner. These include doorknobs and door handles, light switches, tables, and countertops.
Avoid contact with infected people
If a family member or friend has hand foot and mouth disease, refrain from hugging or kissing them. Likewise, if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, stay home to avoid potentially spreading it to others.
Boost your immunity
According to TCM Physician Brandon Yew, “From a TCM perspective, the level of risk of infection depends on the person’s unique body constitution. This is characterized by varying specific imbalances, such as the kind of pathogens or type of Deficiency present in the body. The more significant the imbalance of the person, the weaker their immunity, and the greater the risk of infection.”
There are several ways to boost your immunity naturally. These include eating nutritious foods, drinking enough water, getting quality sleep nightly, managing stress, and regularly performing physical activity.
You can also use acupressure to help boost immune strength. Press your fingers on the acupressure points He Gu (LI4) and Zu San Li (ST36) for several seconds and then release. Repeat up to three times.
Health Supplements That Support Immunity
The consumption of health supplements can support immune-boosting lifestyle habits.
Research shows that green propolis extract demonstrates anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects whilst enhancing the immune system.
It also helps
Furthermore, the efficacy of this potent TCM ingredient is supported by the findings of various accomplished scholars and institutions.
For instance, French scientist Professor Remy Chauvin proved in 1968 that it’s not possible for bacteria to culture in beehives. Meanwhile, in 1987, Oxford University discovered that propolis has 149 active bio-components.
Then, in 1991, the World Bee Conference certified that propolis has approximately 100 natural crude drug ingredients, including flavonoids. In that same year, Tetsuya Matsuno from the National Institute of Infectious Diseases also presented breakthrough evidence that propolis contains 3 anti-cancer agents which can destroy cancer cells without causing any side effects.
In TCM, good gut health is vital as our food intake is ultimately converted to qi (vital energy) and blood elements that are crucial for the nourishment of the mind and body.
The primary organ responsible for maintaining a healthy and functioning digestive system is the Spleen. Besides digesting food, the Spleen and Stomach also take on the combined role of breaking down food into nutrients and subsequently converting them into the vital qi and blood elements.
It is essential to maintain a healthy Spleen – the source of acquired constitution – so that our body has the energy needed to carry out daily activities.
Probiotics can enhance the immune system and may reduce an adult’s risk of infection. This attributes to probiotics’ primary function, which is to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
Though, it’s worth noting that both probiotics and Brazilian green propolis extract are not suitable for children below age one.
Asthmatics and people with allergies should also refrain from consuming these supplements as they can trigger anaphylaxis — an adverse and potentially life-threatening bodily reaction.
Bo Ying Compound
For children, an herbal remedy called Bo Ying Compound can help with pediatric illnesses like hand foot and mouth disease.
Formulated through generations of wisdom, this traditional supplement is backed by modern research. Specifically, clinical studies show that you can consume Bo Ying Compound to reduce Heat and detoxify the body without causing any side effects.
Studies show that TCM treatment could reduce disease severity and mortality. The use of TCM herbs like
Bo Ying Compound may also help relieve symptoms. However, for severe cases, TCM can be used as a complementary treatment for adults and children prone to side effects of oral anesthesia.
Aim To Prevent Hand Foot And Mouth Disease
Prevention is better than cure is an age-old proverb that still holds today. Hence, adults need to heed this advice to ensure that their children and themselves can stave off hand foot and mouth disease and other contagious infections.
- Penn Medicine. 2018. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease in Adults.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevent Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease.
- Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014. Comparison between Chinese Herbal Medicines and Conventional Therapy in the Treatment of Severe Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
- Medicine. 2020. Effect of heat-clearing and detoxifying Chinese medicines combined with conventional therapy on mild hand, foot, and mouth disease with fever.
- Hindawi. 2018. Propolis and Its Potential to Treat Gastrointestinal Disorders.
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