The redness and rashes around the neck, face, and tongue tend to last for a week even with effective treatment. As mentioned earlier, when the rashes subside, the skin around other body parts tend to shed off. There are some other symptoms as well that indicate scarlet fever and some of those notable symptoms include;

  • Fever with a temperature of 101F or more, often accompanied by chills.
  • Red sore throat.
  • White and yellowish patches on throat.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes or glands in the neck.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

If your child exhibits any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor right away. However, many other health issues can have the same symptoms as well.

The Cause

Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection and is caused by the same bacteria that cause the strep throat. The health condition actually occurs as these bacteria release a toxin that results in redness and rashes. The disease can be transmitted from one person to another through the body fluids expelled as the affected person sneezes or coughs. The time period between the exposure and the illness or the incubation period for scarlet fever is reported to be two to four days. Hence, it is recommended to stay away from the people who suffer from scarlet fever.


Scarlet fever may result in a number of after effects, especially in kids. If left untreated, it may affect the following body parts of the affected kid.

  • Tonsils
  • Skin
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Middle ear
  • Blood

In rare cases, scarlet fever can lead to rheumatic fever, which is a serious health condition that affects the heart, nervous system, body joints, and the skin of the affected person.

Diagnosis and Treatment

First, your doctor may conduct a physical exam and look for the following factors;

  • The condition of the throat, tonsils, and tongue of your child.
  • Check whether or not the lymph glands of your kid are enlarged.
  • Thoroughly assess the texture and character of the rashes.

In case your pediatric doctor suspects that your child is suffering from a strep throat, he may collect the tonsils specimen from the back of your child’s neck using a swab. Note that this is really important since the cause and symptoms of strep throat and scarlet fever are almost the same. As far as treatment is concerned, it mainly includes antibiotic medications. Plus, some lifestyle changes and home remedies can cure scarlet fever to a great extent.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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