Can Hand Foot and Mouth Cause Diaper Rash?

  • By: Julie Miller
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Hand foot and mouth disease is a common viral infection that can cause a rash in the diaper area. This is a highly contagious illness, and it is important to take precautions to prevent it from spreading.

In this blog post, we will discuss the symptoms of hand foot, and mouth disease, as well as how to treat it if your child contracts it.

What Is Hand Foot and Mouth Disease?

Hand foot and mouth disease, the illness caused by a coxsackievirus, is a mild, contagious viral infection. The most common viruses that cause this condition are Coxsackievirus A16 and Enterovirus A7. It is most common infection seen in a child younger than age 10 but can occur in an older child and adults as well.

An infected person can transmit viruses within 1-2 weeks. The virus is spread through contact with respiratory secretions, saliva, or fecal-oral transmission. It can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as doorknobs, toys, or countertops.

The incubation period for the virus is three to six days. A child’s symptoms key points of hand foot and mouth disease include:

  • Rashes and small blisters on hands and legs
  • Fever
  • Lack or loss of appetite
  • Generally, feeling restless
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat and tonsils
  • Small blisters around or in the mouth
  • Painful red blisters

The rash and small blisters typically start as red spots that blister and then turn into ulcers. The ulcers can be painful and usually last for seven to ten days.

In most cases, the virus is mild and will resolve on its own. However, in some rare cases, it can lead to more serious complications such as meningitis or encephalitis.

How Is Hand Foot and Mouth Disease Diagnosed?

HFMD is often mistaken for other illnesses. But there are a few ways your child’s provider can diagnose hand, foot, and mouth disease. One way is to collect a stool sample from the patient and test it for the presence of the virus.

Another way is to take a throat culture from the patient to see if the virus is present.

Finally, his or her healthcare provider can do a physical exam to look for the characteristic rash associated with hand, foot, and mouth disease. They will look into the rash during the physical exam. You should also share your child’s general health history with them.

As of this writing, there is no specific treatment for HFMD yet.

Can Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Present as Diaper Rash?

It’s a question that many parents ask, especially when their child has a rash in the diaper area. The short answer is yes, it’s possible for hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) to present as a diaper rash.

HFMD is a common viral infection that most often affects young children. It’s characterized by a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, as well as in the diaper area. The rash is usually accompanied by small blisters, fever, sore throat, and mouth sores.

While HFMD can be uncomfortable for your child, it’s generally not a serious illness and will resolve on its own about a week or two. If your child does have HFMD, the best thing you can do is provide them with plenty of fluids and rest, and keep their rash area clean and dry.

However, if the symptoms become serious, you should seek medical care and bring her to your child’s provider.

How to Prevent Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

As a parent, you always want to do everything you can to protect your child from getting sick. One illness that is particularly contagious and common in young children is hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD).

HFMD is caused by viruses like the Coxsackie virus or the Enterovirus 71 virus. These viruses are most commonly spread through contact with respiratory secretions, saliva, or feces of an infected person.

The good news is that there are some things you can do to help prevent your child from getting HFMD.

Symptoms of HFMD can include fever, sore throat, mouth sores, and a red rash on the hands, feet, or buttocks. If your child is showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your child’s healthcare provider right away so they can confirm whether or not your child’s symptoms are HFMD and provide the appropriate treatment to reduce symptoms.

There are some other things you can do to help prevent the spread of HFMD. These include:

  • Washing hands correctly and often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after changing diapers or using the restroom.
  • Make sure your child washes his or her hands regularly. Use a clean towel or air dry afterward.
  • Avoiding close contact with infected people. Keep your child away from other children.
  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of cold fluids to reduce mouth pain.
  • Confirm that your childcare center encourages handwashing
  • No sharing of cups, utensils, or towels
  • Clean contaminated surfaces with a disinfectant.
  • Keep your child comfortable for the entire duration of the sickness.
  • A mouth rinse or mild pain reliever can help ease pain in the mouth. Avoid using regular mouthwash.
  • A child younger than 6 months old should not be given ibuprofen for mouth pain unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • During your follow-up appointment, inform your healthcare provider about your child’s condition. Write down any new medicines, new instructions, and new diagnosis.
  • If your child is taking a new medicine, watch out for side effects and allergies.
  • If your child has a fever, don’t give him aspirin because you will be putting him at risk of an illness called Reye’s syndrome.

By following these simple tips along with the ad, you can help prevent the spread of HFMD and other health conditions and keep your children healthy.

How Do You Treat HFMD Diaper Rash?

If your baby has a diaper rash, you’ll want to do everything you can to soothe their discomfort. Here are the next steps, tips and suggestions:

  • Change diapers frequently, and be sure to clean the area well with warm water.
  • Apply a diaper rash cream or ointment, like Desitin, at every change on the diaper area.
  • Rash should heal in a few days if you keep the area clean and dry at all times.
  • Avoid using baby wipes that contain alcohol. Instead, use warm water and mild soap.
  • Give your baby some time without a diaper on so their skin can air out.

If you follow these steps, your baby’s diaper rash should start to improve within a few days. If the rash persists or seems to be getting worse, contact your child’s healthcare provider or pediatrician. They may prescribe a medicated cream or ointment to help clear the rash.


If you’re caring for children who have hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD), it’s important to know the signs and symptoms so you can get them the proper treatment. The rash associated with HFMD can also present as a diaper rash, so it’s important to be aware of both.

There are some things you can do to help prevent HFMD, like washing hands often and avoiding close contact with people who are sick. If your child does get HFMD, the best thing you can do is provide them with plenty of fluids and rest, and keep their rash area clean and dry.

Listen to your child’s healthcare provider and follow the treatment plan accordingly. With proper care, most children will recover from HFMD within a week or two.

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