Scarlet Fever Rash in Adults Pictures - 21 Photos & Images
Scarlet fever can occur as a result of a group A Streptococcus (group A strep) infection. The signs and symptoms include a sore throat, fever, headaches, swollen glands, and a characteristic rash. The rash is red and feels like sandpaper and the tongue may be red and bumpy. It most commonly affects children between five and fifteen years of age. Scarlet fever affects a small number of people who have either strep throat or streptococcal skin infections. The bacteria are usually spread by people coughing or sneezing. It can also be spread when a person touches an object that has the bacteria on it and then touches their mouth or nose. The characteristic rash is due to the erythrogenic toxin, a substance produced by some types of the bacterium. The diagnosis is typically confirmed by culturing the throat.
Scarlet fever is characterized by:
Bright red tongue with a "strawberry" appearance
Forchheimer spots (fleeting small, red spots on the soft palate)
A characteristic rash, which:
is fine, red, and rough-textured,
blanches upon pressure,
appears 12–72 hours after the fever starts,
generally begins on the chest and armpits and behind the ears but may also appear in the groin,
on the face, often shows as red cheeks with a characteristic pale area around the mouth (circumoral pallor),
is worse in the skin folds (so-called Pastia's lines, where the rash runs together in the armpits and groin, appears and can persist after the rash is gone),
may spread to cover the uvula, and
begins to fade three to four days after onset, upon which desquamation (peeling) begins. "This phase begins with flakes peeling from the face. Peeling from the palms and around the fingers
occurs about a week later." Peeling also occurs in the axilla, the groin, and the tips of fingers and toes
The rash is the most striking sign of scarlet fever. It usually appears first on the neck and face (often leaving a clear, unaffected area around the mouth). It looks like a bad sunburn with tiny bumps, and it may itch. It then spreads to the chest and back and finally to the rest of the body. In the body creases, especially around the underarms and elbows, the rash forms the classic red streaks known as Pastia's lines. On very dark skin, the streaks may appear darker than the rest of the skin. Areas of rash usually turn white (or paler brown, with dark complexioned skin) when pressed on. By the sixth day of the infection, the rash usually fades, but the affected skin may begin to peel.