Strep rash is a type of skin rash that is usually associated with scarlet fever. This HealthHearty article provides information about the rash.
Strep rash is rare in case of strep throat, but is commonly found as a symptom of scarlet fever. It has been observed that, in most cases, scarlet fever is caused by strep throat. Both strep throat and scarlet fever are caused by Group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.
Strep rash is one of the most common symptoms of scarlet fever, and the name scarlet fever is derived from this scarlet-colored rash. Some strep skin infections, like cellulitis, may also cause this type of rash.
What is Strep Rash?
As mentioned above, strep rash is a symptom of scarlet fever, and in some rare instances, it may develop in people with strep throat too. Strep throat is caused by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria, and the common symptoms of this condition are chills, headaches, redness, irritation and pain in the throat, and enlarged tonsils. The person may also have swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Though not common, strep rash may develop in some cases.
In some people, scarlet fever may develop from strep throat. This happens after 24 to 48 hours from the onset of strep throat symptoms. By this time, the bacteria release toxins into the body, and these toxins result in an allergic skin reaction, called strep rash. This rash can be distinguished from other types, with the presence of scarlet fever symptoms, like fever, chills, headache, nausea or vomiting, and flushed face with paleness around the mouth. The throat and the tonsils turn red and swollen. In some cases, a white coating may be found on the back of the throat. Fever would be more than 101°F, and the child may also develop loss of appetite.
In short, strep rash is a red rash that is often associated with scarlet fever. In some rare case, strep rash may develop in people with strep throat and cellulitis, as these conditions are also caused by Group A streptococcus bacteria.
In case of strep rash, the skin appears red, and develops small bumps. Initially, this rash is seen on the face and neck, but, soon it spreads to the chest and other parts. The areas around the mouth are often found to be unaffected. This condition may look like sunburn, but due to the bumps, the skin may feel and look like a sandpaper.
As compared to other body parts, the skin folds in the armpits and groin are more affected, and the creases in these areas develop red lines, that are called Pastia’s lines. It has been observed that, the fever, redness, and itching associated with strep rash last for more than three days. It takes around seven days for the rash to fade.
As the rash heals, the skin starts peeling, and this lasts for around two weeks. In some cases, such peeling may last longer. Scarlet fever and strep rash are seen in children, especially, those in the age group of five to 15. However, this condition is now very rare. Apart from scarlet fever, this rash can be seen in people with strep skin infections, like cellulitis and erysipelas.
So, strep rash is usually identified with the accompanying symptoms of scarlet fever. A throat culture is done to confirm the diagnosis. If left untreated, scarlet fever may result in various complications, like rheumatic fever, glomerulonephritis, and bacterial infection of the blood. Normally, antibiotics are prescribed for treating scarlet fever as well as strep rash. Even rash-relieving lotions can be used to reduce the itching and redness. In case of any other strep skin infection, seek medical attention immediately. In such cases too, the main treatment involves antibiotics only.
In short, it is better to consult your health care provider, and start the treatment at the earliest, to avoid complications.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.