People get scarlet fever from a bacterium called group A Streptococcus, which is also known as group A strep. This bacterium can sometimes release a poison that causes a rash. The illness gets its name from the resulting rash, which can be scarlet colored.
Group A strep bacteria usually live in the nose and throat, and they can spread when a person with the infection coughs or sneezes. People can get scarlet fever by breathing in these droplets. They can also get it from touching a contaminated surface, drinking from the same glass as someone with the infection, or touching sores that group A strep has caused.
Keep reading to learn more about scarlet fever rash, including what it looks like and how to treat it.
The rash may first appear on the neck, underarm, and groin, but in time, it can spread across the whole body. At first, the rash appears as small, flat blotches, but these slowly become fine bumps that feel like sandpaper. The skin around the mouth may turn paler, while the cheeks appear flushed.
In people with lighter skin, the creases of the underarm, elbow, and groin may also turn bright red.
It can be more difficult to see scarlet fever rash on darker skin, but it will still have the characteristic sandpaper-like texture.
Although anyone can get scarlet fever, some people are more prone to it.
Scarlet fever is more common in children aged
Crowded areas, such as schools, day care centers, and military training centers, can increase the risk of infection.
- high fever
- red and sore throat
- strawberry tongue
- sandpaper-like rash
Other symptoms may
- painful swallowing
Scarlet fever tends to
Some viral illnesses, such as measles, chickenpox, and hand, foot, and mouth disease, may have similar presentations to scarlet fever. However, they have specific characteristics that help doctors distinguish them.
- abscesses around the tonsils
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- ear, sinus, and skin infections
- rheumatic fever
- poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis
Taking antibiotics early in the infection can prevent these complications.
Scarlet fever is a mild illness. People with scarlet fever usually require antibiotics because there is a chance that the infection could spread to other parts of the body and cause more severe issues. If a person decides not to take antibiotics, they may be contagious for up to
Penicillin and amoxicillin are the recommended
Some people may also take
People with scarlet fever require medical attention. Anyone who experiences fever and a rash should see a doctor immediately. As scarlet fever can resemble other infectious diseases, a correct diagnosis is essential.
Scarlet fever requires prescription antibiotics. Anyone experiencing complications of scarlet fever, even while on antibiotics, should speak with a doctor. Some strains of group A strep
Scarlet fever rash is a symptom of scarlet fever. Other symptoms include a sore throat and fever.
Children, and adults in frequent contact with children, are most at risk of getting scarlet fever. It is a very contagious infection that usually spreads through respiratory secretions from coughing and sneezing.
Doctors treat scarlet fever with antibiotics. Taking antibiotics can help control the spread of scarlet fever and prevent complications.