Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.
Your Location is set to Change My Location
Cone Health wants to help you get well and stay well. This section provides tools and information to achieve good health and maintain your well-being.
Learn what community resources are available to help you get well and stay well.
View health and wellness news you can use from Cone Health providers on
View Advanced Search OptionsView All Doctors
View All Locations
Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Scarlet fever
COVID-19 Info: Please help us slow the spread of coronavirus - Wear a Mask, Wash Your Hands & Wait 6 Feet Apart! Visitor Policies and Precautions | COVID-19 Testing| Vaccine information | Commitment to Safety | Current Numbers
Scarlet fever is an illness that most often occurs in children between the ages of 2 and 10 who have recently had strep throat. It is caused by a poison (toxin) released by some types of strep bacteria.
The most noticeable symptom of scarlet fever is a rough, red rash that feels like sandpaper. The rash begins on the chest and abdomen and spreads over the rest of the body within 1 to 2 days. The rash and redness are more apparent in skin folds, especially in the groin, armpits, and elbow creases. Fever and a sore throat usually develop before the rash appears.
Scarlet fever and the strep infection that causes it are treated with antibiotics. The rash itself is not contagious and does not need treatment. Most cases of scarlet fever can be cured without the development of permanent complications.
Current as of: December 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Donald R. Mintz MD - Otolaryngology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Subscribe to our Wellness Matters e-newsletter, a monthly snapshot of the some of great wellness content from Cone Health providers.