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Hand Foot Mouth: Natural Cures and Remedies

Where have I been, you say? Oh, just dealing with normal holiday hustle, work, and… DUN DUN DUN! Our home has been struck with the nasty hand, foot, mouth disease.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a viral infection that starts with a fever, then turns into a rash. The effects vary, but it’s generally a children’s illness. Though when the adults get it it can be either really mild or really terrible. I got the former; My husband the later. Poor guy.

My son got a mild fever a few days before Christmas. When he broke out in the iconic rash we knew what it was. The fever broken and he was pretty much fine afterwards. Hand, foot, mouth (HFM in the mommy forums) is really contagious. Since I had no idea what it could be when he first fell ill, my oldest was helping me take care of him. I assumed that it was a normal cold/flu thing because Florida likes to change weather patterns a lot during the “winter.”

hand foot mouth natural cures

The next day, when the rash began, Gaia was quarantined at her dad’s house. On Christmas Eve she too fell ill with fever, so naturally she came home to be with us. On the next day my husband got sick. They both rested and Gaia quickly recovered. My husband on the other hand… well he got the worst of it all.

About a week later my husband could walk again and went to work. I got sores in my mouth, but I alerted my employer and they decided they needed me at work if I was *feeling* fine. I was, so I worked through my mild case. By the time my sores were gone our house was nearly done with HFM.

And then the peeling began.

hand foot mouth natural cure

That’s not even the worse bit. You should see my husband’s feet! It’s totally Google image worthy, but he’s asked me nicely not to show off the grossly awesome patches of dead skin. We all gathered around in amazement when he took off the heel of his foot and revealed the fresh, moist new skin underneath. I kid you not… it’s oddly fascinating!

Ickyness aside, HFM is no joke. Although it’s a virus and can not be treated with antibiotics, there are things you can do to speed it along. Staying hydrated is key. And because of the sores in the mouth it’s recommended to use milk (or milk alternatives) to do so.

Hand, foot, and mouth disease can easily plague your entire house. Here are some ways to minimize the effects and soothe the symptoms.

Drink antiviral teas and bone broths. Lemon balm, peppermint, and elderberry will do great things for your immune system, and bone broth spiked with garlic, thyme, sage, and rosemary will provide many important nutrients for those who suffer from loss of appetite.

Use essential oils. Tea tree oil is a great antiviral option. I personally use my TTO every day, but adding a few drops to your liquid hand soap is an amazing way to keep germs from spreading. I also added a few drops to my laundry rotation while everyone was sick (but that’s just habit I suppose).

Treat the skin with a calendula salve. Using coconut oil as a base, create a soothing and healing salve that can both soothe rashes and speed up healing. Heat up 1/2 cup coconut oil on low heat with 1/4 cup dried calendula flowers. Let sit 2-3 hours on low, stirring frequently. Drain off the flowers, then add the oil back to the pot and melt 1/8 cup (1 ounce or 2 Tbsp.) beeswax. Let cool and apply to skin.

You can get elaborate and use the home made neosporin for this purpose as well, though a basic recipe such as the one above can do wonders on dry, peeling skin.

Hand, foot, and mouth is just one of those things you have to grin and bare. Has your family ever gone through HFM? Feel free to share your experience in the comments.


To Find Them Any Fresher You Would Have To Grow



  1. Oh this is great! I have a bunch of friends who have experienced this at their kids school…it’s a nasty breakout!

  2. My son ended up with HFM about s year ago as well…no fun!! We found that after the rash had passed it left hid skin soooo dry it was painful to look at…we made a bath with olive oil and it cleared that dryness right up. I don’t know why we didnt think of TTO!! Hopefully we never have to deal with it again, but if we do…

  3. Tea tree oil is my go to for all skin issues. Great tips!

  4. I have a friend right now who is going to love you for this information! Thanks!!!

  5. My daughter (almost 3 months) has a worse case of it. It’s all over her body. I just got it too. Do you recommend the same for infants? Is there something I can use instead of beeswax?
    Thank you so much for the info!

    • You cna skip the beeswax, but it’ll be a bit watery. That’s fine though. You can also add shea butter to thicken it a tad without beeswax.

  6. Michael Freed says:

    Well I sure wish I found this a week ago, all OTC things tried had zero to negligable effect. Bookmarked and glad to have found at least for the peeling to come if nothing else. Pray there is not another experience with HFM!

  7. Would you apply the tea tree oil directly to the blistered areas? My four-year-old is absolutely miserable because she has them between her toes.

  8. Michael Freed says:

    I found (as a father who got a severe case with secondary infection) that the only relief I could achieve was with a bath in tepid water with Aveeno oatmeal body wash (the kind for children/babies) and Epsom salt infused with menthol (I think it was Dr. Teals…). This gave much needed relief for about 30-60minutes. It did not take away all the itching/burning/stinging but it did make it manageable. I repeated this bath 4-6 times per day. Nothing helped with the mouth sores. And i tried all of the magic mouthwash, otc and prescription and everything else I could think of. I lost about 25-30 lbs over the 3 week period of first symptoms to rash cleared up and blisters peeling. It took me nearly a year to regain the weight. Though i think my case was rather severe… my son you could not even tell he was sick unless someone told you he had it… I pray we never experience that again.

  9. Would this be ok to use on the face? My 13 year old has it pretty bad on His face;( and is it ok to not dilute it?

    • You always want to dilute EOs. Grapeseed oil is great for the skin 🙂

      Not too close to eyes, but some places on the face may benefit.

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