Skip to main content

Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever is an infection that can happen with strep throat. It is caused by the same bacteria that cause strep throat. Scarlet fever is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, but it can affect people of any age. Scarlet fever is rare in children younger than 3 years and adults.

Scarlet fever causes a rough, red rash along with symptoms of strep throat, which include a fever, a sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. The rash usually appears one or two days after the fever starts. The rash starts on the neck, underarm, and groin area and then spreads to the rest of the body. The rash usually fades in about a week. Then the skin may start to peel.

Scarlet fever and strep infections are treated with antibiotics. Treatment can prevent serious problems from a strep infection.


PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.