Ugh, the dreaded hand, foot and mouth disease.

I was first “introduced” to this condition when my husband contracted it on a missions trip to Costa Rica back in 2002. He and I were only friends then and he had sent me a long email detailing his incredibly painful 10 day struggle with the blistering disease, which caused him to lose 15 pounds (he was already slim!) because he could barely eat or drink.

Fast-forward to 2016 and while we were at a Bible camp tucked away from the world, I found out that my 5 year old son had somehow caught hand, foot and mouth. I thought the blister I found on his hand was from touching the bottom of a hot dish, but the next morning when they had spread, literally, like wild fire on his hands and feet I knew we were in for it. A frantic text to my dermatologist friend confirmed the diagnosis.


Healing up from his HFMD!

Thankfully, my 5 year old’s, and later on in the week, my symptoms from HFMD were not nearly as extreme as my husband’s. It turned out he had likely caught a very serious strain and we had the much more mild form (praise the Lord!).

We quarantined ourselves as best we could and I began searching for some options for treatment.

HFMD has to run its course and you can’t take antibiotics because it’s a virus, so I decided to see if essential oils would help, since many of them have anti-viral properties. I figured at least we could get some relief from the pain and itching of the blisters and perhaps help recovery move along faster.

Thankfully the Bible camp cook had a large collection of essential oils with her (because of course, THIS was the week I forgot to bring my Rocky Mountain Oils along) and so I got to work.

Tips for using essential oils to help relieve symptoms of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease.


Essential Oil Blend for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease for Adults

Immune Strength Essential Oils Rocky Mountain Oils

For myself, I used a blend of oils that is similar to thieves, containing cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary mixed with FCO (fractionated coconut oil, which dries quickly and doesn’t leave stains on clothes). The Rocky Mountain blend that I continued using at home is called Immune Strength.

I diluted 2 Tbsp (one ounce) FCO to 10 drops of the blend similar to Immune Strength. I started small because it’s always good to do that and then work up until you achieve your desired result, you can use up to 18 drops per one ounce.


I’ve learned that you should not use “hot oils” such as clove and cinnamon on children 5 and under.

Anyway, I applied this salve to the blisters on my feet and hands using a cotton ball. By the next morning, my feet and hands no longer itched and there was only a slight tingling sensation on the blisters. This was only day 2 of my blister outbreak, so I considered that application a success. I put it on two times that day as well and by day 3, most of the sores no longer bothered me. Only a couple hung on and continued to be red and the itch came back but not as extreme as before!

(Now that we’re a week past our diagnosis, all of my blisters are completely gone except one. I continued to apply the salve a couple of times a day.)

Essential Oil Salve for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease for Children

This blend is safe for children. I found a suggested mix online and adjusted it for our needs. My son loved the smell!

Recipe for Kids Hand Foot and Mouth Salve

4 Tbsp fractionated coconut oil**

5 drops tea tree oil

5 drops lavender

4 drops lemon

4 drops Roman chamomile or Frankincense

Swirl gently together, in an amber container if you can. I had to use a coffee cup at camp, haha.

**Try not to use plastic to store essential oils as they can break down the plastic material.

Apply a thin layer to the feet, hands or other external affected areas a few times a day. Try to keep socks on your child if they have feet blisters.

This would be great to use in an amber spray bottle for portability!

What’s the Benefit of this Essential Oil Salve for Hand Foot and Mouth Disease?

Lemon and Roman chamomile/eucalyptus are antivirals (use a eucalyptus oil for kids only over 10). Tea tree is antibacterial (I didn’t want his blisters on his feet especially to get infected) and lavender is great for skin care and helps relax and soothe.

When we used it on my son’s feet, it really soothed his blisters. They also dried up fairly quickly, except for the large ones which took a few more days. I washed his feet as often as possible and kept him isolated for the worst two days of blisters.

Being at camp, it was tough to keep him completely clean but I think if we were home it would have helped speed the healing process even more.

While viruses need to run their course, it’s great to be able to use essential oils to help soothe and alleviate some of the symptoms of hand, foot and mouth disease! I hope these recipes can be useful for you as well!

**You can use many different carrier oils and in a pinch, use olive oil. FCO is what we had available at the camp and I really do like it!

Where I Get My Essential Oils

We use Rocky Mountain Oils as our resource for essential oils, blends and carrier oils. They are a company I trust because they advocate safe use of oils, test them accordingly and are very open about their practices. They also don’t make outrageous claims about their products.

They also have a rewards program to help you earn free oils!

Get 25% off your first purchase and earn 410 points (*$10 to $30 value) if you spend over $25 from Rocky Mountain Oils!

100% Pure & Natural Essential Oils | Rocky Mountain Oils

You can learn more about their standards at their website. They are a non-MLM company, meaning it is not a tiered company like some other essential oil groups, but simply a resource of safely tested essential oils.

Check out Rocky Mountain Oils–I know you will love and greatly benefit from their oils! We love their Kids Line too–they’re pre-combined blends, which makes them great for shortcuts when you don’t have time to mix up your own blend!

*FDA disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.”

**I am not a medical professional, just a mom who likes to help her kids with essential oils. Please consult your doctor before using essential oils!

essential oils for hand foot and mouth salve

9 Comments on How to Use Essential Oils for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

  1. A friend’s 9 mo grandson just came down with an awful case of this. All over his hands, mouth and feet. At this very young age, what are your recommendations? Ty.

  2. My 1YO only has it around his mouth, could this be applied there? We are on day 5 of HFM and he is absolutely miserable. I’m looking for some sort of relief for my sweet boy.

    • Hi Jae,

      I wouldn’t recommend applying it around his mouth as it would likely be somehow ingested….unfortunately for really little ones, ingestion is a concern. What you could do is try to apply some coconut oil around his mouth which might help, or you can diffuse the essential oils in the recipe in a diffuser in his room at naptime. All of the oils from the recipe (use Roman Chamomile in place of Frankincense if you can) can be diffused. Of course, I am not a doctor, and so if you have a doctor who is open to natural treatments, he or she may be someone to consult for an opinion! Hope your sweet boy feels better soon! <3

  3. Hi I was just wondering if the frakinscence will work just like Roman chamomile. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it at our Walmart

  4. I hardly ever respond to blog posts, but I have tonthis time. Your recipe was a lifesaver today. My 4-year-old daughter came down with hand, foot, and mouth this week. The rash developed last night before bed. We were up all night due to her being miserable. She was fussing and crying most of the day due to the fact that the rash on her feet was bothering her. I put the salve on her this afternoon. It was a total game changer. Thank you SO much!! She and Mommy are such happy campers. ????

    • I am just seeing your comment now! I am so very glad the salve was helpful for your daughter!! Thank you for taking the time to comment ????

  5. Thanks for your post. Just what I needed as I scramble to use whatever oils I have to help my 13 year old who seems to have been hit by this rash. God is good. He provides help in our time of need and you are an instrument of His provision.

    • You are welcome! Hope it works well for your son! So thankful that God provides in unique ways :)

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