Chickenpox vs Hand Foot Mouth: A Comparison

Chickenpox vs Hand Foot Mouth

A staggering 95% of Americans had chickenpox when they were children, which shows how popular it is.

Both chickenpox and hand-foot-mouth are common childhood diseases that must be treated immediately. But if you don’t know the symptoms or causes, it’ll be harder to diagnose and get your little one help.

Don’t fret if you’re in this situation, we’re here to help. Here’s everything to know about chickenpox vs. hand foot mouth. 


Chickenpox is renowned as one of the most common infectious diseases. It is caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and spreads by skin-to-skin contact or video respiratory droplets. For instance, this includes coughing or sneezing.  


One of the most obvious chickenpox symptoms is raised red bumps, or papules, which break out all over the body. The rash may develop 10 to 21 days after catching the disease and eventually scab over. Children could also suffer from a fever, experience a loss of appetite, and headache. 

Know that chickenpox is mild in healthy children, but it’s wise to book an appointment with a doctor for a proper diagnosis. 


If your little one has a fever, your child’s doctor will likely recommend ibuprofen. Because a virus causes chickenpox, you can’t cure the disease with antibiotics, so it’s reserved for more serious cases. For instance, if your child seems to get worse, doctors may recommend acyclovir, an antiviral agent. 

The biggest way to prevent chickenpox is getting vaccinated. Regardless of your age, patients should get at least two doses. 

Want to learn more? Then, ask your doctor, “How do vaccines work?”, so you know what to expect.  

Hand Foot Mouth Disease 

To learn about chickenpox vs hand foot mouth, it’s time to dive into HFMD. This is caused by coxsackievirus A-16 when children are exposed to infected or oral material, such as saliva. Know that incubation only takes five days, which is when your kid will experience symptoms.  


The most common symptoms include a fever, sore throat, and a reoccurring cough. But within several days, you may develop blisters in your mouth and on your hands or feet. Before crusting over, these ulcers can become painful and itchy.  


Unlike other childhood diseases, there’s no specific treatment for HFMD. Luckily, most symptoms clear up within 10 days and aren’t life-threatening. The only treatment is over-the-counter pain medication or a topical oral anesthetic to stop the pain of mouth ulcers.  

Unfortunately, there isn’t any vaccination to prevent HFMD. But you can prevent your little one from catching it by telling them to regularly clean their hands and avoid touching their eyes.   

Chickenpox vs. Hand Foot Mouth 101 

Now that you’re an expert on chickenpox vs. hand foot mouth, you’ll know how to act if you notice any symptoms. 

Understanding the causes and symptoms of both is essential for keeping your children safe and healthy. If you notice their symptoms are worsening, contact your physician immediately. 

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