Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Strep Rash Evaluation

The evaluation of scarlet fever begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in someone with scarlet fever may include:

  • Fever
  • Throat redness
  • Throat swelling
  • Red, swollen tongue
  • Skin rash:
    • Feels like sandpaper to the touch
    • Starts on the neck, upper chest, and back
    • Spreads to the rest of the body
    • Rash is more pronounced in the skin creases.
    • Rash is difficult to detect in dark-skinned people
    • Skin peeling may occur

Tests are necessary to make the diagnosis of scarlet fever.

Tests that may be used to evaluate scarlet fever include:

Continue to Strep Rash Treatment

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Strep Rash References
  1. Duncan CJ, Duncan SR, Scott S. The dynamics of scarlet fever epidemics in England and Wales in the 19th century. Epidemiol Infect. 1996 Dec;117(3):493-9. [8972674]
  2. Lau SK, Woo PC, Yuen KY. Toxic scarlet fever complicating cellulitis: early clinical diagnosis is crucial to prevent a fatal outcome. New Microbiol. 2004 Apr;27(2):203-6. [15164635]
  3. Musser JM, Nelson K, Selander RK, Gerlach D, Huang JC, Kapur V, Kanjilal S. Temporal variation in bacterial disease frequency: molecular population genetic analysis of scarlet fever epidemics in Ottawa and in eastern Germany. J Infect Dis. 1993 Mar;167(3):759-62. [8440944]
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