U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 40-year-old member asked:

How is strep throat strep throat different from scarlet fever?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anatoly Belilovsky
Pediatrics 36 years experience
In some people...: ...Strep throat causes a rash in addition to other symptoms. It is then called scarlet fever. Except for the rash, it is the same disease.
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Rash: Some strains of streptococcus cause some people to break out in a rash due to specific toxins that the strain releases in the body. It is otherwise the same with no increased risk of serious complications or problems. In order tp prevent these complications, antibiotics are needed. See your doctor
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
The germ: Some group A strep germs carry an extra piece of genetic code that triggers a toxin that can cause the rash. If someone has a strep infection in their throat it usually shows up within 12 hrs of the first fever. If the infection is treated very early, it may not show up at all. A strep germ without the extra gene will not trigger the rash. Scarlet fever is an old term used back before penicillin.

Similar questions

A 47-year-old member asked:

How are strep throat and scarlet fever distinguished from each other?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 26 years experience
Scarlet vs Strep: Scarlet fever is like streph throat with a rash.
A 36-year-old member asked:

Is there a difference between scarlet fever and strep throat?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jay Park
Dr. Jay Parkanswered
Pediatrics 51 years experience
Yes, there is.: Both, strep throat and scarlet fever, are caused by group a streptococci. Some strains of group a strep such as the one causing scarlet fever produce erythrogenic exotoxin responsible for the red spots (rash).
A 34-year-old member asked:

Is scarlet fever treated the same way as with strep throat?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barry Bergman
Pediatrics 42 years experience
Yes: Scarlet fever is strep throat which has a sandpaper like rash mostly in the warm areas of the body. The organism is the same...Strep and is treated the same. The rash may take longer than the sore throat to go away, as much as 7-10 days.
A 30-year-old member asked:

What besides strep throat causes scarlet fever?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Definition is strep: There are some other bacteria that can produce chemical factors that can produce a red rash similar to strep a. Some staph species (as seen with toxic shock) and probably others. By convention "scarlet fever " is used with strep a & only some strep a strains have the additional dna plasmid to make the rash come out. A donkey looks like a horse but it's not.
A 39-year-old member asked:

Can you please tell me how scarlet fever and strep throat differ?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 47 years experience
A Rash: Scarlet fever is strept throat with a rash. Otherwise it is exactly the same symptoms, possible complications and therapy.
Last updated Jul 29, 2019


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.