Different Treatment Methods for Scarlet Fever

boy gargling with saltwater

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  • While waiting for your illness to run its course, here are some of the things that you can do to manage your symptoms and reduce your discomfort
  • To prevent any of these complications, make sure that you manage your symptoms properly and follow the treatment plan recommended by your physician

While scarlet fever is no longer considered a life-threatening disease, it can still lead to a great deal of discomfort, since its symptoms may keep you from performing your day-to-day activities. To reduce the severity and duration of an outbreak, some patients turn to antibiotics.1 But be forewarned: Antibiotics may do you more harm than good.

Conventional Treatment Methods Involve Antibiotics and Painkillers

As with other types of Streptococcal infections, the conventional treatment plan for scarlet fever is also centered on antibiotics. Unfortunately, these medications may put you at risk of bigger and more serious health problems.

The rampant use of antibiotics over the past years gave rise to antibiotic-resistant diseases, which affect around 2 million Americans annually. Antibiotics may also compromise your overall immune system by creating an oxygen-rich environment in your gut, allowing pathogenic bacteria to thrive and killing off beneficial microbes.

Aside from antibiotics, you may also be prescribed painkillers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to soothe the headache, fever and sore throat caused by scarlet fever.2 Sadly, these painkillers are just as harmful as antibiotics, as they’re linked to drug addiction, depression and death from overdosage, among others.

Considering all the possible health issues that you may encounter from painkillers and antibiotics, using these medications may not be worth the risk, especially since mild cases of scarlet fever may actually resolve within a week even without treatment.3,4

Follow These Natural Methods to Safely Manage Your Symptoms

As mentioned above, mild cases of scarlet fever usually heal within a week even without conventional medications. While waiting for your illness to run its course, here are some things you can do to manage your symptoms and reduce your discomfort:5,6,7

Drink plenty of fluids: Keep your throat moist by drinking plenty of water. Warm liquids such as lemon water and tea may also help soothe sore throat.

Gargle salt water: Stir half a teaspoon of Himalayan salt in a cup of water and gargle this mixture to help alleviate sore throat.

Humidify the air in your home: Dry air may further irritate your sore throat, so add moisture to the air in your home using a humidifier.

Use natural pain relievers: Natural pain relievers make for a safe and effective alternative to harmful over-the-counter medications. Some good examples are ginger, turmeric and boswellia — all of which boast anti-inflammatory properties. You can steep these ingredients in boiling water and drink their extracts to relieve your sore throat.

Avoid irritants: Keep your surroundings free from irritants that may exacerbate your symptoms. Some examples include cigarette smoke and cleaning products.

Keep in mind that you may still run the risk of spreading the infection two to three weeks after your symptoms have subsided with the help of these home remedies, so it’s best to avoid close physical contact during this period.8

What Happens if You Don’t Manage Scarlet Fever Properly?

Scarlet fever generally resolves without any complications. However, if not properly treated, it may lead to long-term health problems such as:9,10,11,12

Rheumatic fever (an inflammatory disease that affects the heart, joints, skin and brain)

Kidney inflammation

Otitis media and other ear infections

Throat abscesses

Pneumonia

Arthritis

Sinusitis

Skin infections

Other rarer complications of scarlet fever include meningitis, acute renal failure, blood poisoning, necrotising fasciitis (a flesh-eating disease), toxic shock syndrome and osteomyelitis (an infection of the bone and bone marrow).13 To prevent any of these complications, make sure that you manage your symptoms properly and follow the treatment plan recommended by your physician.

MORE ABOUT SCARLET FEVER

Scarlet Fever: Introduction

What Is Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet Fever Symptoms

Scarlet Fever Causes

Scarlet Fever Treatment

Scarlet Fever Prevention

Scarlet Fever Diet

Scarlet Fever FAQ


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