Does my Baby have Scarlet Fever?
Identifying Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever is considered to be a childhood disease that is caused by the streptococcal bacteria. The toxins produced by this bacteria are responsible for the swelling dry rash that characterizes scarlet fever. Observation alone will usually identify scarlet fever accurately.
Typically the child will suffer from a sore throat and fever. This is followed by the appearance of a rash that starts in the neck and chest region, then progressing over the body. The rash is characteristically dry, and will have a sandpaper-like texture. The rash can last for as long as three weeks, and the skin will begin to peel around the fingers and toes at this time. Remember that this disease is a bacterial infection, and can spread if it is not treated properly.
Treating Scarlet Fever
Scarlet fever was considered a very dangerous disease in the past. With new advances in medicine, it can be treated well with very few problems. It is, however, important that you contact your pediatrician if you suspect that your child may have scarlet fever. It is important that your child take proper antibiotics to reduce symptoms, and to prevent complications such as rheumatic fever. It will also help to prevent spreading, as scarlet fever should not be contagious after 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.