How to Treat Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Most people with hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) get better on their own in 7 to 10 days. There is no specific medical treatment for HFMD.

Treat symptoms and prevent dehydration

You can take steps to relieve symptoms and prevent dehydration while you or your child are sick.

Take over-the-counter medications to relieve fever and pain caused by mouth sores. These medications can include acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Never give aspirin to children.

Drink enough liquids. Mouth sores can make it painful to swallow, so your child may not want to drink much. Make sure they drink enough to stay hydrated.

Mother comforts child after taking his temperature

When to see a healthcare provider

  • Your child is not able to drink normally and you’re worried they might be getting dehydrated.
  • Your child’s fever lasts longer than 3 days.
  • Your child has a weakened immune system (body’s ability to fight germs and sickness).
  • Symptoms are severe.
  • Your child is very young, especially younger than 6 months
Prevent HFMD from spreading
Learn more
Wash Your Hands

washing hands together

Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds to stop germs from spreading.

When and How to Wash Your Hands