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What is a strep throat rash?

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Quick Answer

A strep throat rash is a skin rash caused by strep throat that begins around the neck and chest, eventually spreading over the entire body within a day or two, according to WebMD. This type of rash is also known as scarlet fever.

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Full Answer

A strep throat rash appears with a red color and rough texture, according to WebMD. The rash occurs most visibly in the inside of the elbows, arm pits and groin. At the end of the illness, red spots may occur on the tongue, a condition called strawberry tongue. Doctors diagnose the illness with a throat culture or strep test, identifying the bacteria present.

The type of strep throat that causes this rash is known as group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus, with the rash typically occurring in children between 2 and 10 years old, according to WebMD. Other potential symptoms of this type of strep throat include a high temperature, white or yellow discoloration on the tongue and tonsils, swollen lymph nodes, and pain and difficulty swallowing. More mild symptoms may include aching muscles, headaches and vomiting. The scarlet fever rash typically lasts a week. Peeling skin may accompany the fading rash.

Doctors treat scarlet fever with antibiotics. Complications of the disease may include further infection of the ears and sinuses, pneumonia and rheumatic illnesses, states WebMD.

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