What are Common Causes of Strep Throat and Rash?

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  • Written By: Rosie Hadley-Walker
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Strep throat and the rash that occasionally accompanies it — called scarletina — is an infection caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus. It is spread by contact. The illness is generally found in children aged from five to 15, and is most common during the fall, possibly due to children's prolonged contact with one and other in a school setting. Though children under five and adults are susceptible to strep throat and rash, it is far less common in these age groups.

This rash is actually a sign of scarlet fever, a reaction to the Streptococcus bacteria. Strep rash occurs most often under the arms and on the chest. In most cases, the patient will also have a tongue that is bright red.

The bacteria that causes strep throat and rash can take anywhere from two to five days to incubate before causing symptoms in the host. A scratchy throat and mild fatigue are usually precursors to more serious symptoms that cause far more discomfort, like a painful sore throat and rash, headache, nausea, and moderate fever.


To diagnose strep throat and rash, a throat culture is taken by a doctor by rubbing a cotton swab on the patient's tonsils and mouth. This is then used in a diagnostic procedure called a rapid strep test where the swab is placed in specialized container where the test is done. If the test proves that the patient is positive, he or she will be prescribed an oral antibiotic or given an antibiotic shot. Treatment with oral antibiotics tends to last for around ten days.

Though the symptoms may be eliminated within the first few days of treatment, patients with strep throat and rash should continue to take the medication as prescribed. It is possible for the bacteria to be present even with no visible symptoms. Home remedies like drinking chamomile tea and gargling salt water can also be used to relive pain, but should never be used in place of medical treatment.

It is possible for strep throat and rash to resolve on it's own without antibiotic treatment, but can be dangerous and is not recommended. When left untreated, the remaining bacteria can spread throughout the body, causing various potentially dangerous infections like sinusitis, rheumatic fever, and kidney problems. Anyone who suspects he or she has strep throat should consult a doctor to schedule a strep test.


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Post 1

Suggesting that it is possible for strep & rash to resolve on it's own without antibiotics is not only a ridiculous assertion to make to a public desperately seeking alternatives to the high costs of health care, but it also contradicts your own statements on other strep pages on this website! Perhaps your readers need to look at other, more professional pages for important, realistic and truthful answers.

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