All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > A to Z > H > A to Z: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
A to Z: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

A to Z: Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

May also be called: HFM, HFMD

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common contagious illness caused by viruses from the enterovirus family, most commonly the coxsackievirus.

More to Know

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFM) causes painful blisters in the mouth and throat, and on the hands, feet, and diaper area. Often, there is a fever that lasts about 3 days. All symptoms usually go away in less than a week. Because HFM is a viral infection, antibiotics are not used to treat it.

The infection most commonly affects children under age 5 and easily spreads to others through mucus, saliva, fluid from the blisters, or stool (poop).

Keep in Mind

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is usually mild and will go away on its own in a few days.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Related Articles
P    A to Z: Viral Infection
P    Coxsackievirus Infections
P    Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved. Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2015 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved