Our Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina) Main Article provides a comprehensive look at the who, what, when and how of Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina)

Definition of Scarlet fever

Scarlet fever: A skin condition that is due to a streptococcal sore throat or any other streptococcal infection. The group A streptococcal bacteria produce a toxin that causes a scarlet rash that initially appears on the neck and chest, then spreads over the body, and lasts around 3 days. As the rash fades, desquamation (peeling) may occur around the fingertips, toes, and groin area. Scarlet fever is usually not a serious illness when treated promptly with antibiotics such as penicillin. However, untreated streptococcal infection can cause kidney inflammation (glomerulonephritis) and rheumatic fever. Also known as scarlatina.


Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

Search MedTerms:



Back to MedTerms online medical dictionary A-Z List
Pill Identifier Tool

Need help identifying pills and medications?
Use the pill finder tool on RxList.