Strep throat is a rather common infection that tends to affect every individual at some point of time. This infection is commonly seen among young children and adolescents. In adults strep throat may not be accompanied with obvious symptoms. This infection is caused by the different strains of streptococcus bacteria and results in considerable discomfort. While this infection tends to resolve on its own and is not that serious, strep throat rash may be observed in some cases and this can be indicative of complications like scarlet fever.
The symptoms commonly observed in strep throat cases include throat pain, white patches in the throat, fever of around 101 degrees F or even more, headache and general fatigue. Those suffering from strep throat may also experience problems or pain while swallowing, stomach ache and even vomiting in rare cases. The characteristic strep throat rash can be seen in some cases. This rash appears in the form of small, red pimples all over the chest, back and abdomen areas. This rash feels rough to touch and looks like a sunburn. The rash areas have a rough sandpaper feel to them. If such a rash is observed then it is indicative of scarlet fever.
In case of strep throat, rash patients may also get dark red lines within the folds of the skin. In case of scarlet fever cases, the tongue of the patient may turn strawberry red. They may also experience flushing in the face even though the region around the mouth may remain pale. If the rash is pressed on then it tends to lose color and turns white. The rash accompanying strep throat infection is caused due to a toxin that is made by the streptococcus bacteria. Not all individuals get this rash. In fact two individuals in a family suffering from strep throat may have different symptoms with one person getting the rash while the other may not.
The strep throat infection can spread through close contact with nasal and throat fluids and so it is important to avoid close contact with anyone suffering from this infection. Treatment for the condition should also be started at an earliest. The strep throat rash is often observed in children between the age of five to fifteen years. Once a child has this rash then the infection lasts for a period of five days after which the skin may begin to peel. The diagnosis of the infection is done through a throat culture wherein a cotton swab is taken to get a sample of the material at the back of the throat. The material is then checked to determine if bacteria grows and once a diagnosis is made, the treatment can be started. The antibiotics that may be prescribed for strep throat infection include penicillin, amoxicillin etc. it is advisable to stay at home for a period of 24 to 48 hours once the medicines are started since the infection stops being contagious once treatment is started. It is important to monitor the condition of the child so as to ensure that complications like rheumatic fever are avoided.