Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What is Scarlet Fever - Tips For Treating it Properly

fever fever

Scarlet fever, an illness caused by the same bacteria found in cases of strep throat, was once a deadly disease greatly feared by parents of young children. However, due to modern antibiotics, it is no longer considered a serious ailment but is similar in intensity to catching a bad flu, strep throat, or the chicken pox. It mostly affects school-age children, though usually not toddlers, and while uncomfortable, with proper treatment should not cause any major complications. This article should inform the reader not only how to diagnose scarlet fever, but what should be done to treat it.
Scarlet fever is a tricky condition to diagnose because at first, it appears as strep throat would, with a fever and a sore throat. However, 1-2 days after the fever begins (usually 101 degrees or more) a reddish rash should begin to appear on the neck and chest, later spreading across the body and sometimes to the face as well. The identifying feature of this rash is that it should be bumpy and 'sandpaper-ish' and at the start may simply look like a bad sunburn. Because it may be itchy, it's important to use a soothing lotion with ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera to avoid skin damage. Other important signals are the characteristic 'strawberry' tongue, or a bright red tongue, abdominal pain, and swollen lymph nodes along the throat.
While scarlet fever may not seem to be more serious than the flu in its symptoms, it is critical to treat it seriously and immediately go to a physician to get antibiotics. This is not the sort of illness you can wait out or simply buy over the counter cold medicine for; if left untreated, scarlet fever can cause serious complications, most notably rheumatoid fever, a condition that can permanently weaken the heart valves. The doctor will most likely give you a clinical examination, swab your throat to check for signs of the strep bacteria, and prescribe you a 10-day course of standard antibiotics. Remember to continue to take the antibiotics for the full duration of the prescription even if your symptoms appear to disappear after the first couple of days; this ensures that you will remove all bacterial infection from your body.
Upon beginning to take the course of antibiotics, the fever should begin to fade after a couple of days and the sore throat should subside quickly. The skin around the area affected by the rash will begin to peel off 3-4 days after the rash's appearance and may continue peeling for 10 days, but the rash itself may not go away fully for up to 2-3 weeks. People infected will no longer be contagious 24 hours after they begin taking antibiotics, but until then, it is highly contagious. If you should develop new symptoms or there does not appear to be an affect after taking antibiotics for 24 hours, you should contact your doctor immediately because there may be a new infection that needs treatment.
Do You Think Your Rash Is Due to Scarlet Fever
Stop by to read about Common Contagious Childhood Rashes and learn more about typical rashes as well as the rare Life Threatening Rashes
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dee_Cohen

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3527609


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