Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is a mild but highly contagious viral infection common in young children, which spreads from person to person because of unwashed hands or contaminated surfaces. Common symptoms include fever; sore throat; rash and blisters on the tongue, mouth, palms of the hand and soles of the feet; headache; fatigue; irritability; and loss of appetite. Infection most commonly occurs because of coxsackievirus and is commonly seen in child care settings. Infected adults may not exhibit any signs and symptoms of the disease.
The Ayurvedic treatment of hand-foot-and-mouth disease is aimed at treating the symptoms and preventing complications like viral meningitis and encephalitis. Medicines like Tribhuvan-Kirti, Laxmi-Narayan-Ras and Maha-Sudarshan-Churna are used to treat fever. Headache and sore throat can be treated using medicines like Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna, Triphala-Guggulu and Sukshma-Triphala. Fatigue can be treated using medicines like Arjunarishta, Dashmoolarishta, Shrung-Bhasma and Laxmi-Vilas-Ras. Irritability can be treated using Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Khurasani ova (Hyoscyamus niger) and Jayphal (Myristica fragrans). Loss of appetite can be treated using medicines like Shankh-Vati, Laghu-Sutshekhar, Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis), Pippali (Piper longum) and Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica).
Rash and blisters in the mouth and on the hands and feet can be treated using medicines like Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivadi-Churna, Gandhak-Rasayan, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Rakta-Chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus), Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Patha (Cissampelos pareira) and Nimba (Azadirachta indica). These are more effective when combined with a local application containing Manjishtha, Saariva, Haridra, Chandan (Santalum album) and Mandukparni (Centella asiatica). Other medicines like Panch-Tikta-Ghrut, Yashtimadhuk-Ghrut and Shatadhout-Ghrut can also be used for local application. Medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras and Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani can be used to prevent and treat meningitis and encephalitis.
Most patients suffering from this condition usually recover in 7 to 10 days. It is important to maintain adequate oral rehydration of the affected children. Prevention of this disease is equally important, with the adoption of good hygienic measures and the temporary isolation of infected and contagious people.