A strep rash, which is also known as scarlatina, usually occurs when a strep throat condition develops or is present. Strep throat is an infection of the throat caused by Streptococcus bacteria. When a person has this strep throat problem the typical symptoms are: a high fever (around 39.5 degrees Celsius or 103 degrees Fahrenheit), frequent chills, headaches, a throat that is very sore, irritated, and red – making swallowing and eating or drinking difficult, enlarged tonsils (if present) that may be covered in white, grey, or yellow spots or coatings, and swollen glands or lymph nodes in the neck area.
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A doctor confirms a strep throat infection by lightly swabbing the throat area of the patient. The swap is sent off for analysis and results are returned within one to two days.
The skin rash that appears in conjunction with a strep throat problem is a symptom of scarlet fever. Twelve to 48 hours after the strep throat symptoms appear, the scarlet fever rash may become visible on the skin. It is believed that the strep rash is a result of an allergic skin reaction to the toxins that are created by the strep bacteria.
What are the characteristics of this type of skin rash? The strep skin rash consists of very fine red pimples all over the body. The pimples feel rough to the touch and the skin is often described as having a fine sandpaper type texture or fine goose bumps. The skin may also appear very red, similar to the appearance of a sunburn. Typically, the chest and the abdomen show the first signs of the rash, but within a day the whole body can become covered. The skin folds in the groin, armpits, etc., usually are affected to a greater extent than the rest of the skin areas of the body. It takes approximately seven days for the rash to fade. Peeling of the skin is a common healing symptom and may last from one to two weeks. In more severe cases, the skin flaking can go on for several weeks.
Scarlet fever has some other symptoms associated with it such as a pale looking area around the mouth and flushed cheeks, a white coating (white strawberry tongue) or subsequently a very red coating (red strawberry tongue) with red dots on the surface of the tongue, and darkening of the skin creases in various areas of the body – groin, underarms, elbows, and neck (Pastia’s lines). The scarlet fever rash also disappears or whitens briefly when pressure is applied to the skin’s surface.
The rash with strep or Scarlet fever usually affects children in the 5 to 15 year old age group. However, nowadays even though strep throat is still very common, scarlet fever is less frequently encountered.
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A strep throat infection needs to be treated with antibiotics in order to prevent complications. The rash from strep will disappear on its owns without any specific skin rash treatment. The patient can apply various rash relieving lotions to help soothe the uncomfortable feeling caused by the rash.
One final note is that a strep rash may also occur as a result of a strep skin infection. This type of infection usually develops because the bacteria has entered the body through a cut, scrape, burn, or impetigo of the skin. An indication that this has occurred is if no strep throat symptoms are experienced. Immediate medical attention or medical treatment is required for any type of skin infection.
There are many types of skin rashes that people are affected with. If you have a story about your experience with a skin rash and feel that if would be useful to the individuals visiting this website then please feel free to share it.
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