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  • Anjum Rahmatulla

Scarlet Fever or Scarlatina

Scarlet Fever is a bacterial infection which affects the tonsils and the skin along with other general symptoms of malaise and fever. It is also known as Scarlatina.

The bacterial agent is Streptococcus Pyogenes or Group A Streptococcus (GAS) which is present in the throat in most people. Some will have a sore throat with fever, and a very small percentage of those will develop scarlet fever. It is called Scarlet Fever because of the nature of the skin rash which is bright red and rosy in colour. There will be small raised bumps which feel very rough to touch – like sandpaper. They start on the chest and tummy area and can spread to lower parts of the body.

There is no rash on the face, but the face will look red and flushed. For those with darker skin, the red colour may not be as obvious.

A strawberry tongue is also characteristic of Scarlet Fever: small raised bumps on a red, swollen tongue.

Let’s have a look at some remedies that might be useful for those with symptoms of Scarlet Fever. Every person is different, so individualisation is important. We are always treating the person behind the label.

ACONITE: The symptoms come on suddenly and quickly and can be brought on by exposure to cold, dry weather. The patient is feverish and will have chills alternating with heat. The face can be red, hot, swollen or have one cheek red and the other pale.

Tonsils are swollen and the throat is dark red and dry.

Skin can be red, hot, swollen, dry and shining.

Restlessness is very marked as is anxiety and fear.

Worse: evening, night, cold dry wind, fright

Better: warmth

BELLADONNA: Symptoms come on suddenly and quickly, like Aconite.

There is heat, redness, throbbing and burning. Fever with icy cold feet and no thirst.

Skin can have a red rosy eruption, spreading. Glands may be swollen. Putting pressure with a finger on the skin leaves a white line. Redness of the whole body. Skin is dry, hot, swollen, sensitive. Burning, smooth.

Worse: noise, touch, jar, afternoon after 3pm and after midnight.

Better: lying down in dark room

AMMONIUM CARB: The mucous membranes of the respiratory organs are mainly affected. Great sensitivity to cold air.

Tonsils are enlarged and ulcerated and the throat has burning pain. Hoarseness.

Skin: Scarlet rash which can be violently itchy and burning. Upper body scarlet red. With rash over upper half of body.

Worse: evening, 3-4am, cold, wet weather

Better: dry weather. Pressure, eating

AILANTHUS: The skin appears purple or bluish-purple. There is great prostration and a delirious state.

Face is dusky, red, hot and covered in a rash.

Throat is inflamed and dusky red or purple with both internal and external swelling. The tonsils have angry looking ulcers with an unpleasant smelly discharge.

Severe headache.

Violent vomiting.

Worse: sitting up, motion

Better: hot drinks, lying on right side.

GELSEMIUM: The complaints have a slow onset, over days rather than hours. Dull, dizzy, drowsy, trembly is how the patient feels. Heavy, weak and very tired.

Face is flushed and dusky.

Throat is rough and burning, tonsillitis with shooting pain into ears. Feeling of painful lump in throat which cannot be swallowed.

Chilliness up and down the back, wanting to be held. Fever between 3-5pm. Thirst absent.

Skin is hot and itchy.

Worse: exertion

Better: sweating, urination

If you are concerned about your child, if their fever is high and not coming down, or there are other worrying signs, please contact your GP or NHS24.

Scarlet Fever is a notifiable disease in England, but not in Scotland.

For information on potency and dosage please see here:

Thank you for reading my blog.

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