Patient Comments: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease - Symptoms and Signs

What were the symptoms and signs of your hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)?

Comment from: DC_Lotus, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 01

Oh my goodness, what is this hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)! My progression was as follows. Saturday morning, the fever started. We were in the middle of a blizzard in the DC area, and the entire region was crippled. By the time Sunday morning rolled around, the fever spiked to 103, and eventually received a terrifying reading of 105.5! I managed to get the fever to break, and as I was headed to the emergency room (ER) at around 7 pm on Sunday, the sore throat hit. I've had strep many times. But this was worse. It felt like strep's older, meaner step sister. I couldn't eat, and strep never did that. It burned constantly and felt like swallowing hot coals. The ER gave me Vicodin and an antibiotic, thinking a bad case of strep. Strep test ended up being negative. That night, into Monday morning, the awful blisters started. At first, they itched, I thought it was a reaction to the penicillin-based medicine. The doctor took one look at the blisters, and told me I had HFMD. She said only a few things in medicine cause that type of blistering, and due to my other symptoms, there it was. I spent the next few days in torment with this terrible virus. My hands itched so bad that the only way I could sleep was to super-dose myself with antihistamines, slather myself with Eucerin, and wear gloves over my hands. The feet didn't start until Wednesday, and now I have blisters between my toes. But mercifully, it is now Friday and my hands no longer itch. I await the skin/nail peeling with pride. This was war. That kind of looks like herpes.

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Comment from: Edna, Female (Patient) Published: January 15

The first symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) were nausea, terrible headache, and overwhelming tiredness. By the next day I had swollen glands, and a sore throat that felt like glass shards were in the back of my throat. After 3 to 4 days of this, I went to the doctor for a strep test and a recheck of thyroid and I had two small spots on my hand. I mentioned them to the doctor because they hurt. She said I probably had some kind of viral cold. When many more spots appeared on my hands by the next morning, I googled pictures of spots and found the blisters of HFM disease. I noticed they were also on the roof of my mouth and on my tongue. They have been getting worse for several days with my feet being the last place to get the blisters. This is my 8th day and blisters are still appearing though I feel more like I'm going to live. I also have some random blisters on arms and legs, a few below nostrils. This disease is rough, I hope there's a vaccine soon. Also, I have no idea where I picked this up since I'm retired and have not been around children during the incubation period. I will see my grandkids once the blisters have healed and am very worried about them getting this.

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Comment from: 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 29

Reading all of these makes me feel a little better about what I'm going through. From what the doctor said, adults are rarely infected by hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) and when we are, the symptoms are usually not that bad. Like many here, I have experienced some pretty awful symptoms. It started with a slight sore neck and a slight sore throat that within a day turned into severe neck and throat pain along with fever, chills and some aches and pains. That lasted about a day, and then I looked into my mouth and saw a bunch of red dots in my mouth. I also had what I thought was a red pimple on the side of my nose, except it itched a little and when I scratched it the skin kind of just wiped away. I was pretty freaked out at this point and went to the doctor who said it was HFMD (also noticed red bumps on my hands). It's been a day and a half and I've got a ton of these bumps on my hands and feet. They feel like slivers to me, annoying but not unbearable. My hands are also starting to itch right now. The worst part are the sores on my face and mouth. The ones in my mouth are very painful and have made it hard to eat and drink. The ones on my face are ugly and if touched the skin just wipes away. They are on my nose and around my mouth. Tomorrow is Christmas, hope there's a miracle and it stops spreading and gets better.

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Comment from: pdxgenesis, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 15

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is the most awful virus I have dealt with to date. My 8 month old son got a fever and was irritable on a Friday and into Saturday. By Monday he was acting better, but had spots showing up on his mouth, hands, etc. I didn't know what it was. By Monday afternoon I was getting chills, had a fever of 101 all night. Tuesday I went to work (still not knowing what HFMD was) with the most awful sore throat I have ever had, and white pockets on my tonsils. By Tuesday night my hands were tingling and itchy. I couldn't sleep but my power was out due to weather so I couldn't see the rash forming on my hands. When I got to work Wednesday I noticed the rash was turning into blisters all over my hands. I left work and went to the doctor who confirmed enterovirus. Wednesday night was the most awful night. My hands were literally on fire. Aloe didn't work. Gold Bond didn't work. I soaked my hands in yogurt. Nothing worked. Benadryl I think helped. I had a steady routine for about 3 days of Benadryl and ibuprofen. I finally fell asleep holding ice packs in my hands on Wednesday night. The itching and rash spread continued into Thursday. Then by Thursday afternoon I was having trouble walking. My scalp was also itching, and I was picking at scabs under my hair. I took off my shoes and noticed it was spreading there. By Friday I had red rash all over my legs and my feet, and could barely walk. Thankfully my hands no longer itched. By Friday evening just relaxing as the first night I didn't take Benadryl. Today is Saturday and I woke up for the first time not in pain. My rash is fading by the hour on my hands, although there are still some pretty nasty welts on the backs of my hands. I am embarrassed to show my hands in public! My finger tips are all hard, and numb. It's like the rashes and pocks would grow, join, and then fizzle out on your finger into this hard, dry callus. Today I found about 3 or 4 on my face and had a few in my mouth but all in all it has been my least painful day where I actually feel there is an end in sight. I would not wish this on anyone. I have no idea where my baby boy got it, but had no idea what it even was. I thought it was just a fever, maybe he was teething. I will be so much more cautious in the future. This was pure awful.

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Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease - Treatments Question: What treatment did you receive for hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)?
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