What is scarlet fever?

So your little one is a little under the weather, of course, Google is the best and worst of friends when someone is unwell. Here's what you need to know if you suspect a child, baby or adult has ‘scarlet fever’

What are the symptoms of scarlet fever?

A rash is one of the first main symptoms of scarlet fever in both adults and children. It usually starts as red and blotchy skin but becomes a fine rash that feels similar to sandpaper, other symptoms include:

  • Reddening around their creases such as armpits, knees, or elbows (Pastia’s lines)
  • Red or pale flushed looking face
  • Bright red strawberry-looking tongue or pale tongue with red dots.
  • Hot and cold flushes (chills)
  • Sorehead
  • Sore throat or tonsils with white or yellow patches
  • Fever above 38.3’c
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Swollen glands on the neck

What treatment for scarlet fever?

Follow these simple steps to nurse yourself or someone else back to health; Scarlet fever is normally treated with some antibiotics, as they kill bacteria and help your body’s immune system fight off the bacteria’s causing the particular infection. Make sure you or your child complete the entire course of the prescribed medication even if your symptoms have gone, this will prevent it from reoccurring again.

1. Drinking warm liquids

Warm liquid could help to soothe the sore throat, recommended liquids could be in the form of herbal tea or soup broth stock. There are also some herbal remedies that may help soothe the throat such as honey, lemon, ginger, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, liqourice root, sage, and more.

2. Eat soft or blended foods

If your throat is causing you lots of pain to eat, you should try to eat only eat soft foods or foods that have been blended. As it will make it easier to eat. As well as soft foods, there are also some that you should avoid as they may irritate your throat even more. These could include chilli, pepper, crackers, crusty bread, fizzy drinks, hard vegetables, and sugar-related snacks.

3. Pain relief

Don't suffer in silence, if your throat is hurting take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, or Calpol. Refer to the instructions to how much you should have and never take any more than advised.

4. Use an anti-itching lotion to soothe

Calamine lotion dates as far back as 1500 BC, it is multipurpose cream that is recognised by the world health organization's list of essential medicines. The lotion contains ingredients such as phenol, calcium hydroxide, and zinc oxide to name a few. It is suitable for soothing skin irritation, eczema, rashes, chickenpox, insect bites, stings, and even sunburn. Its mild antiseptic properties will alleviate the itchy spots.

5. Don’t smoke

It may be obvious that smoking cigarettes will only irritate the throat further, however, excessive smoking may lead to further sinus infection.

6. Drink plenty of water

When you are not feeling well it is very important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. It will also help lubricate your throat, reducing pain, and could even prevent infection from worsening.

7. Antibiotics

Scarlet fever is normally treated with some antibiotics, as they kill bacteria and help your body’s immune system fight off the bacteria’s causing the particular infection. Make sure you or your child complete the entire course of the prescribed medication even if your symptoms have gone, this will prevent it from reoccurring again.

How to prevent it from spreading?

Having good hygiene goes a long way in preventing all illnesses, so follow these steps to keep healthy and teach your children the same.

  • Hand over your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with warm soapy water before and after meals and using the bathroom
  • Don’t share other peoples utensils or cups while you're unwell as this will cause spreading
  • Wash your hands when you cough or sneeze

Luckily - in most cases - you or your child can return to school/work after 24 hours of taking the antibiotics. But if you are not feeling better or back to your normal self go back to the doctors or stay home for some much-needed rest.

Younger children can be affected worse and may need medical attention. If you develop any of the symptoms above do not hesitate to consult a professional, this article is for guidance only and should not be used as a self remedy diagnosis.

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