Hand, foot and mouth is a common and highly contagious disease that mainly affects children under ten. It results in spotty blisters across the hands, feet and around the mouth, as well as in the mouth and on the tongue.
The disease is caused by the coxsackie A virus, and usually begins with the child feeling generally unwell. This can include a high temperature.
24 hours after the first symptoms begin, the child is then likely to develop a sore throat and the first spots will start to develop inside the mouth, which will quickly turn into small ulcers.
Most, but not all, children will then begin to develop blisters on their face, hands and feet, and spots can also develop on the legs, bottom and genital area.
The spots are small in size and are usually a few millimetres in diameter. However, hand, foot and mouth should not be mistaken for chicken pox as the spots are much smaller and do not itch, although they may feel sore to the touch.
There is no medication for hand, foot and mouth, instead the body will fight the virus and clear the condition, which can take up to seven days.