Scarlet fever (or scarlatina) is attributed to a bacterial infection caused by group A. streptococcus. The bacteria produce a toxic substance that might result in the emergence of rashes having a scarlet color. Hence, this ailment derives its name from the color of the rashes. Scarlet fever mostly affecting small children – it is primarily a childhood disease.
The physical symptoms induced by the infection can include the presence of a persistent fever, the development of a sore throat, the presence of swelling in the glands of the body, and the presence of a physical rash on the body. A white coating covers the tongue with the development of red spots which gradually peel off to reveal a bright red often “strawberry” like surface to the tongue. At a later stage of the infection, the skin all over the body may also peel away at spots.
In effect, the most conspicuous sign of scarlet fever is the scarlet-colored rash, which normally has the appearance of awful sunburn having minuscule bumps that may cause itching. Generally, at first the rash erupts on the face and the neck, frequently leaving an unblemished and unaffected part in the region of the mouth. Subsequently, the scarlet-colored rash extends to other areas, including the chest and back, and eventually to the remaining parts of the body.
What is worse is that the rash develops into typical red stripes in the body creases, such as the elbows and underarms. When the areas where the rash appears are pressed their color generally turns to white. Normally, the rash fades by the sixth day of developing the bacterial infection. However, the affected skin may start peeling off.
Besides the appearance of scarlet-colored rash, there are other symptoms too which help in properly diagnosing scarlet fever. Such symptoms may include a fever over 101°F (38.3°C), reddened and tender throat, as well as distended glands in the neck. In addition, the tonsils as well as the rear of the throat may also be swathed with a white-colored coating or have a reddish appearance.
The back of the throat may also become distended and speckled with white-colored or yellowish dots that are full of pus. During the initial stage of the infection, it is likely that the tongue will also have a whitish or yellowish covering. A child who is suffering from scarlet fever might also experience nausea, body pain, chills, vomiting and lack of appetite.
When throat contagion is the reason behind developing scarlet fever, usually the fever goes away within a period of three to five days, and the tenderness of the throat goes away some time later. As mentioned earlier, the rash of scarlet fever dies away on the sixth day from contacting the infection or from the time the throat symptoms become evident.
However, the skin that was swathed by scarlet fever rash may start to peel off at this time and this may continue for a period of 10 days. When antibiotics are used to treat scarlet fever, the infection is generally cured with a 10-day regimen of antibiotics. Nevertheless, it may take few more weeks for the tonsils as well as the distended glands to become normal again.
Apart from throat infections, on rare occasions, scarlet fever may also occur from a skin contagion, for instance impetigo, caused by the streptococcal bacteria. In such cases, the child might not endure a sore throat.
Scarlet fever has the potential to develop into a grave ailment and, hence, it is imperative to straight away seek medical help as soon as you notice the symptoms of the illness appearing on your child. Quick treatment of the condition will help in preventing it from developing into a serious ailment or giving rise to further complications, for instance any kidney ailment, rheumatic fever, pneumonia and/ or meningitis.
Supplements and herbs
As mentioned earlier, scarlet fever has the potential to develop into a grave medical condition and, hence, it is not proper to treat the patient at home. Irrespective of whether you are opting for allopathic treatment or decide to treat your child by natural medications, it is essential that the treatment should always be done under the guidance and supervision of a qualified healthcare expert.
Like in the instance of combating any ailment, it is necessary to enhance the immune system with a view to sustain the efforts of the body to eliminate the infection. Several herbal as well as homeopathic remedies may offer immense help if they are used in conjugation with allopathic medications to reinforce the natural immune reaction of the body.
A number of herbs, counting Astragalus membranaceous, Echinacea purpurea, Withania somnifera and Inula helenium are recognized for possessing antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal attributes in addition to their competency to reinforce as well as aid the immune system to encourage speedy recuperation. At the same time, it is also vital to make the immune system stronger after it has been assaulted by the infection as well as a prolonged regimen of antibiotics.
In addition to the herbs mentioned above, yarrow and meadowsweet are also helpful in bringing down as well as regulating fever – one of the major symptoms of scarlet fever along with the scarlet-colored rash.
Scarlet fever can be treated using the catmint herb as a supplement. Children affected by the fever can be given two to three drops of the herbal catmint tincture mixed in a glass of water, thrice every day as an herbal treatment for the condition. If the cause of the infection is a virus, then herbal Echinacea decoction can be used to combat the infection, this herbal remedy will also ease out the rash, and aid in the gradual clearing of congestion in the chest of the affected child.
The herbal Echinacea remedy can be taken once every day, till the fever starts to abate. Prepare this herbal solution by mixing two teaspoons of powdered Echinacea root in a cup of water, gently simmer the water for fifteen minutes and let the herbal essences steep into the water. The liquid can then be cooled and strained; children affected by scarlet fever can be given a single drink thrice every day as treatment.
As your child receives slight aid and prop up from nature, he will once again spring back and move around as natural within a few days.
Homeopathic remedies can also be used in the treatment of children affected by scarlet fever, if the child has been infected by the disease as a result of contact with other children having scarlet fever, then the homeopathic treatment can be carried out using Belladonna at a potency of 6c, this remedy can be given to the child twice each day, for a treatment period lasting ten days at a time.
Additional things you may do
Make sure that the affected children or child drinks plenty of fluids, and especially juices made from the citrus fruits. The juices of oranges, common lemons and or grapefruits are all excellent options. The rash in the body of the child can be soothed by making the child take lukewarm baths, these baths can be prepared by adding three tablespoons of baking soda to lukewarm water -ensure the child takes such baths on a regular basis till the time symptoms begin to subside.
Also, taking Epsom salt baths two to three times every week will facilitate the patient to recuperate more rapidly.
Other beneficial herbs