Patients experiencing painful sores on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, or in the mouth may have contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease. Although the disease sounds strange and even frightening, it is easily cured when treated promptly by an experienced hand doctor or other qualified physician.
Detroit, MI board certified hand doctor Uzma Rehman offers rapid, effective treatment to all patients experiencing hand, foot, and mouth disease. In this article she explains the cause, symptoms and treatment of hand, foot, and mouth disease.
What Causes Hand Foot & Mouth Disease
A class of viruses called enteroviruses cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. There are a number of different enteroviruses that can cause hand, foot, and mouth disease, but the one that sends the most patients in the United States to the hand doctor is called coxsackievirus.
Shortly after contracting coxsackievirus, symptoms will begin to develop that include fever, soar throat, and a general feeling of weakness, followed by painful sores on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and in the mouth.
While less common, coxsackievirus can also cause sores to develop on the elbows, knees, genitals, and buttocks. Wherever they occur, sores caused by coxsackievirus will often ulcerate and blister.
How You Get Hand Foot & Mouth Disease
While it is possible for adults to contract hand, foot, and mouth disease, hand doctors report the majority of their patients treated for the illness being under the age of 5.
As it is spread by nose and throat secretions such as saliva and nasal mucus, hand, foot, and mouth disease is one of the most contagious illnesses treated by hand doctors. In cases of children, the disease is frequently transmitted through the fecal-oral route.
Hand doctors also report transmission of the disease through contaminated mucus or saliva during sneezing or coughing. If an uninfected individual touches an object contaminated by droplets of infected saliva or mucus and then puts their hands in their mouth or touches their face, they run the risk of contracting hand, foot, and mouth disease.
When is Hand Foot & Mouth Disease Contagious
Even before developing symptoms, HFMD can still be contagious, and hand doctors urge infected individuals to take greatest caution during the first week of the illness, as this is the time during which it is the most contagious.
Additionally, a person afflicted by HFMD may still be contagious for a period of several weeks after the remission of symptoms. Even without ever developing symptoms (particularly in adult patients), hand, foot, and mouth disease can still be contagious.
Symptoms of Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
Hand doctors report treating the most HFMD patients during the spring and fall seasons. Early symptoms will usually include a mild fever in the 101F-102F range accompanied by a general feeling of malaise.
Within one or two days, a rash will usually occur. Red spots of about 2mm-3mm in size will occur, which will then rapidly develop into tiny blisters on the palms, soles, and oral cavity.
Diagnosing Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
Hand doctors generally diagnose hand, foot, and mouth disease observing by signs of the disease’s symptoms. Also factored into the diagnosis are the patient’s age, medical history, and likelihood that they would have come in contact with someone with the disease. The viral strain causing the disease may be identified through throat and stool samples.
Treatment of Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease
Hand doctors urge their patients not to panic if they contract hand, foot, and mouth disease. While the disease is not pleasant, it also is not particularly serious. However, any time sores develop on the hands, it is important to seek the medical attention of a board-certified hand doctor such as Dr. Rehman for a proper diagnosis of HFMD, and to make sure they are not the result of a more threatening condition.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease generally only persists for a period of 7-to-10 days. Symptoms for HFMD can be eased through the use of over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, but hand doctors caution parents NOT to treat their children’s HFMD with aspirin, as it can result in serious health problems in children.
While hand, foot, and mouth disease can be treated with over-the-counter medication, Detroit, MI patients should contact board-certified hand doctor Uzma Rehman if their illness is accompanied by dehydration or, in the case of children, if they are not acting normally, as signs such as this may indicate the need for emergency care.
Top Detroit Area Hand Doctor
If you are suffering from any injury, pain or sores affecting your hand, fingers, wrist, elbow or arm, contact board certified hand Detroit area hand surgeon Doctor Rehman for a comprehensive evaluation and consultation. As with most medical conditions, early detection, awareness, and a prevention or treatment plan is the most effective way to combat the effects of conditions like hand, foot, and mouth disease.
Doctor Rehman will assess your individual situation, and prescribe the treatments that are best for your condition.