Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can make your throat feel sore and irritating. Strep throat accounts for a small portion of all sore throats.
Strep throat is most common in children, but it can affect people of all ages. If you or your child has signs or symptoms of strep throat, you should immediately book an appointment with a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, strep throat can cause complications associated with bones, joints, and kidney.
Read more about strep throat.
Common signs and symptoms of strep throat are:
In order to diagnose a strep throat, your doctor will conduct a rapid strep test or examine a sample taken on a throat swab in a lab for a culture.
Sometimes, your doctor is able to diagnose strep throat based on your signs and symptoms, such as white spots in the throat area, fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, rashes etc. He will observe your symptoms carefully in a physical exam.
He might see white dots or patches in the back of your throat. Your tonsils might be red and inflamed. There might be some signs of bacterial infection that the doctor will observe to differentiate them from a strep throat.
One of the common signs of a strep throat is strep throat rash.
A strep throat is usually accompanied with rashes. In particular, if the strep throat remains untreated for a longer period, the bacteria may grow and cause complications that may involve strep throat rashes. Strep bacteria may spread and cause such as infections and other problems in these regions:
A strep throat rash may look like a red, sandpaper-like rash on the neck, underarm, or groin, a little after the signs and symptoms of strep infection starts. This could be a sign of scarlet fever. You should contact your doctor if you or a child shows any symptoms similar to a strep rash.
The release of a particular toxin in the body is responsible for the characteristic rash that is seen with scarlet fever. The rash usually begins on the chest, neck, and armpit regions and then spreads to other areas of the body.
The rash is often more clear and reddened in certain areas such as:
Sometimes, capillaries may be ruptured in these areas to cause the rash to appear as lines (called Pastia lines).
The rash appears as fine and rough-textured (such as of a sandpaper), and contains multiple red lesions.
The rash may last about three to seven days. Once the rashes are gone, the skin begins to peel which may take a few weeks. The duration of skin peeling depends on the severity of the rash.
Strep throat infection may cause inflammatory illnesses, such as scarlet fever, kidney inflammation, and rheumatic fever.
Scarlet fever is characterized by rashes. Other signs and symptoms of strep throat are sore throat, fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes.
Contact your doctor when you or your child:
You are particularly susceptible to strep throat if:
Several factors can increase your risk of strep throat infection:
To prevent the infection, you should keep your hands clean, cover your mouth as you cough or sneeze, avoid sharing drinking bottles and glasses and eating utensils.
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