Scarlet Fever Treatment
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About Scarlet fever
Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection that accompanies strep throat. Spread through saliva droplets expelled while sneezing, coughing, or speaking, the bacteria that causes strep throat enters the body and releases a toxin that causes the symptoms of scarlet fever. Scarlet fever most commonly affects children between the age of 5-15.
- A red rash that looks like a sunburn and is rough to the touch. The rash usually first appears on the face and neck and spreads to the rest of the body.
- Folds of the skin around the armpit, neck, and groin become deep red
- Flushed face A white tongue with red dots on the surface
- Sore throat
- Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swollen tonsils
- Swollen lymph nodes
Scarlet fever is highly contagious, but mostly affects children. The infection is treated with a course of antibiotics that can speed up recovery and reduce symptoms. In most cases, the infection will go away within 10 days to 2 weeks.
- Rheumatic fever
- Kidney infections
- Ear infections
If you or your child has a sore throat, a red rash, and a fever above 101 degrees Fahrenheit, talk to a health care provider right away. Treatment for scarlet fever is more effective the earlier it begins, so it is recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Scarlet fever is most commonly treated with antibiotic medication. Follow your doctor’s orders on dosage and take all the prescribed medication, even if you or your child feel better. Bacterial infections can recur if not treated completely, so do not stop taking the antibiotic medication until the prescription is finished or your doctor confirms that it is safe to do so.
While managing symptoms of scarlet fever, there are a number of self-care strategies you can use to reduce discomfort caused by the illness. These include:
- Take OTC pain relievers: Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) can help reduce fever symptoms and relieve the pain caused by a sore throat. Do not take aspirin while sick, as it can increase the risk of a potentially fatal disease known as Reye’s syndrome.
- Hydrate: To prevent dehydration, be sure to give your child plenty of water and electrolyte-rich beverages. Drinking fluids regularly can also help reduce throat soreness.
- Use a humidifier: A cool-mist humidifier can reduce the severity of a sore throat. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent fungal growth.
- Gargle salt water: Gargling warm saltwater may reduce throat soreness. Eat soothing foods: Warm liquids (such as soup) and cool foods such as ice pops can soothe a sore throat.