Rash: Scarlet Fever? Chicken Pox? Measles? Rubella? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 03-19-2010, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD1 came down with a fever a week ago Tuesday. It ranged from 101-103.5. She had a reduced appetite and low energy, but she wasn't lethargic, just napped around noon on a couple of days and was content to spend most of the afternoon laying in bed reading. She complained of a headache, in the back of her head, and a sore neck. She didn't complain of any pain when swallowing. She also had sleep disturbances (talking in her sleep, night waking, and nightmares).

I took her to the doctor on Thursday last week, and she diagnosed strep throat plus a sinus infection, or one or the other, and prescribed amoxicillan and flonase. In the office DD told the dr that her throat hurt when she asked her. The dr said her throat was red and she could see an abscess. She said she could see lots of mucus in DD's nose, but her nose was not running. When she tapped on her sinuses DD said the first one didn't hurt but the others did (doctor tapped, then said, "Does that hurt?"). DD did not flinch or appear to be bothered when her sinuses were tapped. Both in office throat cultures were negative for strep, and we took a culture to the lab which turned out to be negative as well, but we didn't get the results until Tues. I gave DD the amox. starting that evening (she's still not done w/the ten day course) and the next day she was feeling better and her fever was lower. I did not give her the flonase. The fever was gone by Saturday.

Today she developed a rash. It started on her back and upper legs and moved to her hands, then to her feet and just a bit on her tummy this evening. I'm taking her to the doctor in the morning, but I can't help speculating! She's operating at 100% today w/no symptoms other than the rash. When I asked her if it itched, she said yes, but she's only scratched it a tiny bit & she is normally a huge scratcher. The spots do not all look the same. The ones on her back are smaller & appear to be fluid-filled, while the ones on her legs and hands are larger, redder, and don't look blister-like. Photos here.

She is partially vaxed, but not for MMR or chicken pox.

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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#2 of 15 Old 03-19-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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hmmmm...interesting. It doesn't look unlike chicken pox except that in our experience my kids (who both had classic cases) developed a smaller number of spots first that went through the raised red stage onto the fluid-filled stage and then to the crusting over stage before they got them all over. It was like it came more in waves. First there would be one or two on the face or 6 on the back and then the next day there would be more on the chest and maybe some on the tummy and arms. They didn't all appear overnight. The spots do look very like chicken pox, though, so that might be it. Has she been exposed?

My vague impression of scarlet fever is that it's less spotty/pimply looking and more evenly rashy sorta like a splotchy sunburn if that makes sense.

I don't think it's measles as it's typically described as lacy and the kid feels bad during the rash. The feeling fine thing would be typical with chicken pox.

I suppose it could be a reaction to the antibiotic. My dad had a rash after an antibiotic and the drs said that's what it was.

I also had my dd1 develop a rash after a virus of unspecified origin, but it wasn't pimply/blistery —just red and small, barely raised. The dr said that could happen after viruses and wasn't concerned.

I think my money is on the chicken pox or something else we haven't thought of here. If more of them are fluid filled in the morning or are beginning to crust over I would feel 95% sure it's the pox. If there's no more progression by morning it could be something else.

hth

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#3 of 15 Old 03-19-2010, 11:22 PM
 
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Looks like chicken pox to me.

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#4 of 15 Old 03-20-2010, 09:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The doctor was not sure, but she thinks it's most likely coxsackie virus (hand foot & mouth) or maybe a reaction to the amoxicillin. She really didn't think it was a reaction to the amox., but threw that out as a possibility.

I posted more pics (see link above). It's most noticeably worse on her feet, but none of the spots are blistering or crusting, just getting larger. The largest spots on her feet are developing a kind of irregular border with a mottled bluish/purplish appearance.

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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#5 of 15 Old 03-20-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MovingMomma View Post
The doctor was not sure, but she thinks it's most likely coxsackie virus (hand foot & mouth) or maybe a reaction to the amoxicillin. She really didn't think it was a reaction to the amox., but threw that out as a possibility.

I posted more pics (see link above). It's most noticeably worse on her feet, but none of the spots are blistering or crusting, just getting larger. The largest spots on her feet are developing a kind of irregular border with a mottled bluish/purplish appearance.
I was going to guess hand foot and mouth, though it does sound/look like a pretty extreme case if that's what it is. Does she have canker sores in her mouth? When I got hand foot and mouth disease a couple of years ago it felt mostly like a cold, followed by lots of sores in my mouth (that made me so miserable) and then the rash appeared. The rash on my hands was more blister-like, and on my feet was more red and splotchy. I didn't have it anywhere else on my body, though I understand that can happen. I seem to recall that the most common place to get it beside the hands and feet are the genitals.

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#6 of 15 Old 03-20-2010, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does she have canker sores in her mouth?
She doesn't currently have any sores in her mouth, but last week (Fri. the 12th), the doc. thought she had strep throat b/c she was presenting with a fever and a visible ulcer in her throat.

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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#7 of 15 Old 03-20-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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Yeah, the feet don't really look like chicken pox to me. If there's no blistering and crusting I would have to rule that out. Coxsackie sounds like a likely possibility to me, but I've never had direct experience with it.

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#8 of 15 Old 03-20-2010, 11:41 PM
 
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I'm betting reaction to the antibiotics. Pic 6/7 (feet) looks like hives to me.

-Angela
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#9 of 15 Old 03-20-2010, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm pretty confident it's some kind of viral rash. I realized after she went to bed (so no pics) that the flush on her cheeks is what they describe as the "slapped cheek" appearance common to fifth disease & rubella. The stuff on her back looks nothing like hives. I'm wondering if I should take her back & insist on a test to get a definitive diagnosis. If it's rubella we'll need to quarantine b/c there are pregnant women everywhere here (military town).

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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#10 of 15 Old 03-20-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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My dd had scarlet fever last year, and her rash was different. Looks more like a viral rash/allergic rash. I'm not sure. I hope she feels better though!

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#11 of 15 Old 03-21-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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You can get hand foot mouth with only parts. The red red hands and feet make me think that mostly. Def not scarlet fever- my son had that a few weeks ago, and it was a very fine sandpaper-y rash, no big bumps or anything.
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#12 of 15 Old 03-21-2010, 01:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MovingMomma View Post
I'm pretty confident it's some kind of viral rash. I realized after she went to bed (so no pics) that the flush on her cheeks is what they describe as the "slapped cheek" appearance common to fifth disease & rubella. The stuff on her back looks nothing like hives. I'm wondering if I should take her back & insist on a test to get a definitive diagnosis. If it's rubella we'll need to quarantine b/c there are pregnant women everywhere here (military town).
There's really no way to get a definitive diagnosis for most rashes.

hope she feels better soon!

-Angela
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#13 of 15 Old 03-21-2010, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There's really no way to get a definitive diagnosis for most rashes.
Yes, but running titers could tell us which virus, no?

-Shannon, momma to H reading.gif 8/03, N heartbeat.gif 9/06, & P homebirth.jpg 8/11, missing S brokenheart.gif born at 11 wks 1/09 

 


 
   

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#14 of 15 Old 03-21-2010, 02:08 PM
 
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My first thought upon seeing the photos is Fifth's Disease. The rash appears after symptoms have subsided. The rash can last for a couple weeks if I remember correctly. Your photos look very close to what my dd's rash looked like with Fifth's.
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#15 of 15 Old 03-21-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Yes, but running titers could tell us which virus, no?
Maybe, maybe not. Running titers for a bunch of things could be very expensive and probably isn't covered by your insurance.

And it takes awhile.

And it STILL could leave you without answers if it's one of a hundred other viral rashes, or a reaction to something.

-Angela
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