Scarlet Fever Is Back and Every Parent Needs to Watch Out for These Warning Signs

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What Parents Need to Know About Scarlet Fever

An old disease has recently made a comeback, which has made a lot of parents concerned. It is called “scarlet fever.” It was once almost completely phased out because of the invention of antibiotics.

But the overuse of them has caused a surge in its return because of the new antibiotic-resistant strains of the disease that have developed.

It occurs most commonly in children up to 15-years-old. Because of this, it is important that parents know what signs of it to look out for and what to do if their child develops it.

What is Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet fever is a streptococcus bacterial infection that stems from strepthroat. It spreads throughout the body, and the toxins that develop from it cause a widespread rash.

It makes the skin itchy and raw. Most children who get it say their skin feels like sandpaper.

The redness is worse in the creases of the body, but it doesn’t show up in the area around the lips. After six days, the skin affected by the rash peels off.

Scarlet Fever Symptoms

Besides the scarlet-colored rash, those who contract this disease also get a bad sore throat, which is swollen and red with white and yellow patches.

And a fever that is over 101 degrees Fahrenheit is common too. You may also notice swollen glands on the back of their neck and a pale area of skin around their lips.

Sometimes, children also get a stomachache with it accompanied with nausea and vomiting.

What is Scarlet Fever?
Photo: Biophoto Associates / Science Source

Is it Serious?

If left untreated, scarlet fever can turn into rheumatic fever, which affects the whole body. This disease can attack the heart, kidneys, and other organs. So it should never be ignored.

Treating Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is contagious so be sure to separate siblings and limit their contact. Since the disease is caused by bacteria, the usual treatment is a ten-day course of antibiotics.

But this doesn’t always work for antibiotic-resistant forms of scarlet fever. You need to wait at least 24 hours after their symptoms of scarlet fever symptoms to pass before sending them off to school.

Scarlet Fever Home Remedies

Many parents turn to natural treatments to help their children get better. The following is a list of several home remedies that have proven to be effective against scarlet fever:

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Trim Nails

The itchy rash will get worse if a child scratches it. An infection can also develop from the open sores. So keep the child’s nails trim and clean.

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Keeping a humidifier in the child’s bedroom will reduce coughing fits that irritate the throat. A little lavender essential oil added to the humidifier will also help the child sleep better. Avoid strong scents in the room, such as eucalyptus.

Soft Food Diet

It is very difficult for children with strepthroat to swallow, so they need meals prepared for them that consist only of soft foods and soothing liquids. Besides warm tea and ginger ale, applesauce, gelatin, soup, and rice are good choices to serve them.

Avoid All Irritants

Keep all perfumes, cleaning products, and other irritants away from the child until they are completely healed.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Many rashes and skin diseases can be treated by dabbing on apple cider vinegar with a cottonball, and scarlet fever is no exception. It dries out the rash and reduces the itching because of the high level of acetic acid that it contains.

The best type of apple cider vinegar to use is organic because other non-organic types sometimes include petroleum products that are irritating to the skin.

Drink Plenty of Water

The body can flush the infection out faster if it is hydrated. Stick with water though. Sodas and sugary drinks have the opposite effect.

Raspberry & Mint Tea

The inflammation, pain, and swelling of the sore throat that accompanies this disease can be reduced by sipping a warm cup of raspberry and mint tea. Adding a little honey will make the tea taste sweeter, but it is also healing because honey has natural anti-bacterial properties.

Lavender Essential Oil

This essential oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin to soothe it. All essential oils are concentrated, so it is best to never use them undiluted. Chamomile and frankincense essential oils are also helpful.

Final Thoughts

So remember, this disease is serious, but by following these easy tips, you can get your child better fast. Be sure to wear a mask and gloves while you care for your child to reduce the risk of contracting the infection yourself. It is best to keep the infected child away from other children in the house too.

Please SHARE these scarlet fever symptoms with your friends and family!

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs.

scarlet fever symptoms

0 thoughts on “Scarlet Fever Is Back and Every Parent Needs to Watch Out for These Warning Signs

  • Jere Brinkley says:

    I so clearly remember contacting Scarlett Fever. I had just finished measles and chickenpox. For both disease the family was quarantined. My dad was working when the measles and chickenpox came to visit. This was in the 1950/ We had no TV to entertain the kid, no phone in case we need a Dr. right away, no car either because Dad was at work, and no one for a young mother to seek information from. So, when scarlett fever came just 2 days after our quarantined, the health official asked Mom if she wanted to call Dad at work and tell him to stay at work. she said NO. Dad came home that night he was quarantined with the rest of us. Mom was not going to stay home with 2 sick children alone again. Boy did that stuff itch. That is why it makes me so angry that some parents do nothing to keep it at bay. Been there- Done that- Wouldn’t advise others to eliminate medicine for their children. Forgot to tell you, Those childhood diseases really turned 2 kids into whinny little monsters.

    • Max said “Thank you anit-vaxxers…” There isn’t a vaccine for it, genius. It’s caused by a bacteria. However, if you want to point fingers at why other diseases are returning, look to unvetted illegal immigrants importing them from third world countries. That’s not a political statement, it’s a fact.

      • Tabitha…you are only partially correct. There are indeed some vaccines/immunizations that protect against some bacteria: Examples of such are tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B, cholera, typhoid, and Streptococcus pneumoniae.

        It is particularly ineffective to seem erudite when you are not in possession of the facts. But that is common with your types.

      • Ok, but people are getting the diseases again because they arnt vaccinating against them the last decade because of fear mongering. Vaccines …the reason why they were eradicated from the US in the first place. Stop reading people’s blogs who need a high horse to be on behind their computer.

    • There’s no vaccine for scarlet fever. It’s gotten bad again because of overuse of antibiotics, and people not taking their antibiotics properly. Not killing off all the bacteria by not taking your entire course of antibiotic makes the ones that survive develop drug resistance.

    • @Max…this isn’t something that is vaccinated for. Scarlett fever comes from the strepthroat. It’s not like measles or chicken pox. You CANNOT vaccinate for it. So quick to pass judgement on something you know nothing about.

    • Please take this SERIOUS. I was about Ten year’s old when I contacted this awful Scarlet Fever in the late Forties. Also my whole Family was QUARANTINE. I remember my Father had to have a ladder outside so he could climb in and change his Clothes. I was very ill and it did start from a strep Throat. You feel like your Skin is on Fire and you can become delirious .At that time the only Medication was a new one called Penicillin. which they had to send away for. It did help and after a few Weeks I was able to return to School. However during that time you didn’t continue seeing Doctor’s for check ups. I have chronic Heart issues now and I was told due to that Disease it probably stems from it. So protect yourselves.

    • Tina M Kingston says:

      This has nothing to do with anti-vaxxers. Please educate yourself. There is *no vaccine* to prevent Scarlet Fever, or Roseola, or Pink Eye, or Strep Throat. Scarlet Fever and Strep Throat are caused by contagious bacterial infections. Roseola is due to a viral infection, and Pink Eye can be caused either by bacteria or virus. Hygiene is the best preventive for these infections, but as anyone with children knows, it’s next to impossible to insulate them from contagion.

    • There is not and never was a vaccine for scarlet fever. “Thanking” “anti-vaxxers” for the existence of an illness that has always existed and has nothing to do with vaccines is needlessly inflammatory and idiotic.

  • rebecca kvamso says:

    my daughter had scarlett fever 20 years ago and yes we were quarnitnned my two other children just had strep throat. Kirsten ran 106 temp. for about 3 days then another 2 days to return to normal. she was svanned and checked top to bottom afterward and had no internal damage. however she did lose 60% of her hearing. btw. this has not a thing to do wit anti-vaxxers. all my children had had all of their immunizations

  • Joann Landers says:

    My oldest daughter had this at 2 yrs old. The furst night i was home from giving birth to her sister , I heard her having grandmal seizures in her crib. I had called the pediatrician earlier because she had a fever of 101 degrees. I was told to just give her tylenol . I put her in my car and drove straight to the children’s hospital ( a few blocks away) after a spinal tap in the ER they diagnosied scarlet fever 🥵

  • Joanne Tolles says:

    Be careful. I had a rash all over my body, high fever, eye issues and mouth sores galore, and I was falsely diagnosed with Scarlet Fever. I really had Stevens Johnsons Disease and almost died. The rash were second degree burns inside and outside my body from the drug Allopurinal. I was finally diagnosed correctly in the ER and sent by ambulance to our state’s only burn unit. They saved my life and my vision, although I have very serious post SJS even after two and a half years. So please beware of a Scarlet Fever diagnosis. Ask, could this be Stevens Johnsons Syndrome?

  • I had scarlet fever in the late 1930s and was quarantined for about 6 weeks. My siblings were quarantined for a week.
    The doctor made housecalls and was having difficulty diagnosing it so he brought his father [an older doctor} to see me. The Older doctor diagnosed it and reported it to the Health Department. I was quarantined for 5 or 6 weeks. My siblings were quarantined for a week and were not allowed in the room with me for about 5 more weeks. The Health Nurse had to visit to lift the quarantine. I had high fever and was delirious at times. Mother slept with me and pinned her gown to mine in case I tried to get out of bed. While I was ill we had a deep snow and I didn’t want to miss playing in it so mother wouldn’t let my siblings play in the front yard and mess up the snow. The snow lasted until after I was able to get out.

  • My daughter had scarlett fever when she was about five years old..the doctor called it “scarlettina”..but if I recall, she had a red rash on her torso…and was very sick. He put her on antibiotics but then several years later she had a tonsillectomy because of reocurring strep infections.

  • At age 3 I had Scarlet Fever and lost my hearing because the high fever destroyed the 3 bones behind the eardrums, damaged the eardrums, left infections in the mastoid process, and left me profoundly deaf. I was fortunate in that I taught myself to lip read and managed that way until technology improved enough for a surgical procedure to help some and for a hearing aid was developed to help boost what little hearing was left. I remember being quarantined from the rest of the family, even though they all had scarlet fever too but a lighter case. Because it was such a contagious disease and it was feared that we could get infected again, all of our toys and games were burned in a big bonfire. I remember seeing that big fire and crying so hard because of losing all of my toys and especially my doll.

  • While I was growing up we had a neighbor that had scarlet fever as a 4 or5-year-old and her mind remained at that level although at that time she was middle-aged. Take these old diseases seriously various types of fever cause damage to various parts of the body like my daughter where it affected her heart but she did not survive.

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