Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever, blister-like sores in the mouth (herpangina), and a skin rash. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus genus (group). This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Coxsackievirus A16 is the most common cause of hand, foot, and mouth disease in the United States, but other coxsackieviruses have been associated with the illness. Enterovirus 71 has also been associated with hand, foot, and mouth disease and outbreaks of this disease. Hand, foot, and mouth disease is often confused with foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), a disease of cattle, sheep, and swine. However, the two diseases are caused by different viruses and are not related. Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.
The night that the blisters showed up was pretty rough. I put the boy down to bed, which took a lot longer than usual. He still self soothes by sucking on his fingers, which was now extremely painful with blisters on both his fingers and in his mouth. He finally fell asleep and I ran to the grocery store to pick up some supplies for the next few days – natural popsicles, organic ice cream, organic juice. Lots of liquids and soft foods. I also grabbed a few homeopathic remedies to try.
To detour for a moment…I am currently taking a course in Homeopathy. For those who know me well, you know that with my scientific background, I am extremely skeptical about the whole premise of homeopathy. Diluting and shaking something down so much that there is no trace left of the original base? In theory, it sounds like hogwash. But I can’t refute that it works. Most of you have probably taken or used a homeopathic remedy and not even realized it. Hylands Teething Tablets for babies are homeopathic as is Arnica cream for muscle pain. Homeopathy is based on the principle that Like Cures Like. In other words, if a person takes, for example Belladonna, they will experience symptoms of dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, and convulsions. Therefore, if someone experiences any of these symptoms for other reasons, they should be able to find relief with homeopathic Belladonna. Homeopathic remedies are listed by name with a number and X or C after it. This indicates the number of times it was diluted. The bigger the number, the greater the dilution, and the more potent is it said to be. X is 1/2 the dilution of C.
So back to my son’s Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease. I had recently read about Arnica and Rhus toxicodendron. Arnica is well known for pain, but it also is indicated for itching and burning skin, eruption of small pimples, and soreness of gums (as well as a whole host of other indications). Rhus toxicodendron (or poison ivy) is indicated for blisters on the skin (and lots of other things). I purchased both. My grocery store carries the Boiron brand of homeopathics.
Another great thing about homeopathy is how cheap it is!
Natural Remedies for Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease
I continued Arnica 30C for 3 more times that day. The next day I switched to Rhus tox 30C for 3 times. In addition to the homeopathics, I gave him our usual immune boosting treatment 3 times a day:
Natural Immune Boosters for Kids
I’m still amazed at how effective the Arnica 30C was in relieving his pain. It was quite remarkable.