Friday, August 29, 2014

Table of Contents

Alternative Names



Antibiotics are used to kill the bacteria that causes the throat infection. This is crucial to prevent rheumatic fever, a serious complication of strep throat and scarlet fever.

Support Groups

Expectations (prognosis)

With proper antibiotic treatment, the symptoms of scarlet fever should get better quickly. However, the rash can last for up to 2 - 3 weeks before it fully goes away.


Complications are rare with the right treatment, but can include:

  • Acute rheumatic fever
  • Bone or joint problems (osteomyelitis or arthritis)
  • Ear infection (otitis media)
  • Inflammation of a gland (adenitis) or abscess
  • Kidney damage (glomerulonephritis)
  • Liver damage (hepatitis)
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Sinusitis

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if:

  • You develop symptoms of scarlet fever
  • Your symptoms do not go away 24 hours after beginning antibiotic treatment
  • You develop new symptoms

Review Date: 05/09/2010
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (