June 16, 2015
It really is a small world. Today I saw a young child with an atypical, viral appearing rash I diagnosed as “Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.” I’m currently training a Nurse Practitioner student and spent some time reviewing the nature of the rash and how I decided on the diagnosis and its implications. My student is bright and picked up on the atypical findings in this case and my job was to help her understand that atypical presentations of illness are the rule rather than the exception.
My patient’s mother, like most, was very concerned about her child’s rash. While, in reality, most viral rashes are benign and self-limiting, mothers fret over them. When the diagnosis is vague and uncertain, they worry even more. To help alleviate their fears, I always try to come up with a named disease that most closely resembles the illness so moms can read about it and relax a little. Worry is a disease in itself and should always be recognized and treated!
The office is slow today so, as usual, I decided to glance at KevinMD.comHand, Foot and Mouth.” The pediatrician who wrote the article did a nice job at describing the variable nature of viral rashes and the difficulty in diagnosing them.
Since “Hand, Foot and Mouth” is common this time of year, I thought I’d post this article for your reading pleasure. By the way, the sun is out and summer always gives me extra energy. I went for a 5,000 step walk at lunch and may well start writing again.