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Scarlet Fever or Scarletina - An infectious bacterial disease similar to measles.

Bacteria build up on scarlet tongue

Bacteria build up on scarlet tongue

Severe Scarlet Fever rash on the body

Severe Scarlet Fever rash on the body

Rash on legs and arms

Rash on legs and arms

Scarlet Fever or Scarlatina is a bacterium Streptococcus Pyogens not a virus. It is a childhood disease (normally ages 5 to 15) identified by a severe sore throat and a scarlet rash. It is no longer a killer disease due to the discovery of antibiotics and sulphonamides although recently more virulent strains have appeared which must be initially treated by your doctor. Normal drug treatment will be by the use of antibiotics which will bring about a rapid reduction in rash and fever. The child should be kept in isolation as the bacteria is spread by touch or sneezing.

To treat with essential oils the method is essentially the same as for measles (see link below) although in this case the essential oil of choice is German Camomile which will reduce fever, rash and general malaise. It can be applied to the skin using argan oil to sooth the irritation but avoid the areas around the eyes and mouth and do not ingest.

The child will feel dreadfully ill and be sensitive to bright lights and the sickroom should have the curtains drawn and the lights dim. Good, old fashioned treatment of a wet cloth on the forehead will bring some relief and a cooling water spray can reduce a burning feeling. An essential oil vaporiser with lavender and rose oils should perfume the room which will calm the child and help with healing sleep. At the same time the essential oil vapours will kill airborne bacteria and avoid re infecting the child or other family members. If the child is feeling really hot, even with only light bedclothes, then make sure the skin does not become chilled if a breeze is present.

Your child can return to school when he or she has been on antibiotics for at least 24 hours and no longer has a fever.

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Important aftercare

A child that has suffered Scarlet Fever should be carefully monitored for some months after recovery as rheumatic fever can occur due to the streptococcal infection and even acute nephritis

Further contraindications

Scarlet fever can also result in a condition known as Madarosis where you may temporarily lose some or all of your eyelashes. These will re-grow once the condition is cured.


© 2012 Peter Geekie

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