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Child has hand-foot-mouth disease and rashes. Facing difficulty to eat, weight loss. Worrisome

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Pediatrician, Critical Care
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 208 Questions
Hi, My 2.5 year old daughter has Hand-foot-mouth disease and has rashes staring last wednesday. This morning, she seems to have too many eruptions, including many inside her mouth. She is not eating as it is painful and is losing weight. I am worried. Please let me know as to how long does this continue?
Posted Thu, 14 Mar 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Tejas Shah 2 hours later
Thanks for your query related to your daughter.

I am really sorry to hear she is not able to take orally well and as a result is losing weight.

Hand-foot-mouth disease is caused by virus, and as the name suggests affects three areas of the body - hand, foot and mouth. In the mouth, they get painful ulcers. The symptoms of fever, rash usually last for 5-7 days and then they should improve. Ulcers are the ones which cause most problem, as their appetite is greatly reduced because of the fear of pain.

Zytee gel is symptomatic treatment and contains pain-relieving medicines to be applied to the ulcers and get some relief from pain. These can be used upto maximum 6 times a day. I would advise to use them just before she wants to eat or drink anything, since the effect of the gel doesn't last longer than 10-15 minutes.

For fever - she can have medicines containing Paracetamol &/or Ibuprofen.

There is no specific treatment to kill the virus.

Worrying signs are related to dehydration or lack of enery due to poor oral intake. If she is not drinking enough, does not pass urine approximately 4-6 times/days, is very sleepy, crying a lot - she needs to be seen by a Pediatrician and may need admission to give her drip to correct and treat dehydration.

Usually, I would expect symptoms to start improving from about 5th day onwards.

I hope I have been able to answer to your concerns and queries.

Let me know if you have any further queries. Hoping that your daughter recovers very soon and do keep me updated.

Dr Tejas Shah
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