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TIP TUESDAY: As if you don’t already have enough reasons to wash your hands. Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is an acute viral illness that presents as discolored spots or bumps in the mouth, but can also involve the hands, feet, buttocks and genitalia. It is most commonly caused by the Coxsackie family of viruses.  Patients with HFMD often report sore throat and mouth, general malaise and fever. The diagnosis is typically based on clinical grounds, as HFMD is one of the most recognizable viral exanthems in adults and children. There is no specific antiviral medication for HFMD and the treatment is supportive. This includes ensuring adequate fluid intake (preferably cold liquids), avoiding spicy or acidic foods (which may cause discomfort) and treating any fever and/or pain with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The illness is self-limited but can unfortunately cause you or your loved one to feel miserable for up to a week. Since HFMD is contagious, those infected should not go to work, daycare or school. But hey, at least it gives you a valid excuse to stay home and eat popsicles. 

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