Scarletina (strep rash)

Scarletina (strep rash)

Scarletina is caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat. Symptoms of scarletina are:

  • headache
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • fever
  • nausea (upset stomach)
  • vomiting (throwing up)
  • loss of appetite
  • bright red rash

The rash appears on the neck, armpits and groin. The sandpaper-like rash spreads to the body, arms and legs. Up to four weeks later, the skin on your child's fingers and toes may peel.

How to make your child more comfortable

Give your child:

  • extra liquids
  • acetaminophen (Tylenol®) or ibuprofen (Advil®) as needed for pain. Follow the package instructions for your child's weight or age.

Scarletina is a symptom of strep throat and needs to be treated with an antibiotic. Make sure your child finishes the prescription, even if the rash goes away.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education, Guide for the Care of Children: Ages Birth to 5, sixth edition, ped-ah-91554
First Published: 02/01/2010
Last Reviewed: 11/16/2022