L.W. asks from Shawnee, KS on August 24, 2011
Rash - Scarlet Fever??
Could a rash really be scarlet fever if there is no sign of fever, illness or sore throat? My son has a rash that comes and goes; I initially thought heat rash, but now it feels like sandpaper and everything I read says it sounds like scarlet fever. Any thoughts? Of course I'll take him to the doctor if warranted, but I hate to pay to take him in and hear the dreaded, "it's a virus, he'll be fine" :)
So What Happened?™
Thanks, ladies! I think when I googled I just got poor info. He is not feeling or acting sick at all. I will definitely keep watching him in case it is something or gets worse but when I went to the photo link on the mayo clinic site the picture didn't look like his rash. His is more like a heat rash in look. I realize how serious scarlet fever is, that is why I was so thrown by the possibility when he didn't seem ill. If he still has it tomorrow, I'll take him in, and I appreciate all of your thoughts and input.
M.H. answers from Las Vegas on August 24, 2011
Sounds like eczema if it comes and goes...try to lotion that spot really well with aveno baby lotion and see if you can keep it under control. If I dont lotion certain parts of my sons body (legs, butt, neck) he gets eczema.
B.G. answers from Los Angeles on August 24, 2011
I had scarlet fever a few years ago (Yes, it still exists!!)
It started with a small rash on my stomach and it spread like wildfire over night. I had a bit of a fever. By the time I went to work at 8 the next morning, it was up my neck, it covered my torso and back, and down to my knees. If it is all over his body, it could be very dangerous. If it is spreading quickly and it itches and irritates him, I would take him in.
Edit- I didn't get red on my face like Ladybug said. It doesn't have to be on the face to be there. But feeling crappy, definitely.
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C.C. answers from San Francisco on August 24, 2011
When my daughter had scarlet fever, her rash spread like crazy. It started on her stomach and within a few hours it was all over, she had a fever of 105, and was listless. If you suspect scarlet fever, take your child in NOW. It's not a virus, it's caused by Strep A bacteria, so antibiotics will get it under control quickly. Especially in small children, it can be fatal if left untreated.
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S.L. answers from Kansas City on August 24, 2011
One of my daughters had scarlet fever and it starts on the stomach and usually they have a sore throat or fever for sure. It then spreads if not treated and they are very ill. She was weak even after 'well' and she was only 5 years old so to be that weak and tired it tells you they are very sick. The Fifths disease is a rash that looks bad but like someone already said they don't seem that sick with it but I think they can have a low fever. Below are links to read about both. I have kids with both and once you have a child with it you can tell the difference.
P.P. answers from Topeka on August 25, 2011
Scarlet fever is nothing to mess around with - it can lead to rheumatic fever, etc. I believe you can have no other prior signs of a strep infection (the source of scarlet fever) or they could have been present in such a mild form you would not have noticed them. I's at least call the dr.'s office and talk to them. Because of complications, if that's what he's got it's easily treatable.
L.C. answers from Washington DC on August 24, 2011
A scarlet fever rash is extremely distinctive. His face will be completely red except for a white circle around his mouth. He will have a fever. He will feel crappy.
M.P. answers from Raleigh on August 24, 2011
Could it be eczema? I had scarlet fever when I was young, and got VERY sick.
A.K. answers from Houston on August 24, 2011
Mine just had fifths disease - it has a distinctive rash, and no real ill feeling. Google it and see if it matches.
Scarlet fever, has a really sore throat associated with it.
R.K. answers from Boston on August 24, 2011
Fifths disease? Call your doctor they will tell you if he should be seen for the symptoms he's having.