My grandson,8, was diagnosed last week with strep throat. He has a throat culture done for that diagnosis, and he also had a fever and body rash on his chest, stomach and pelvic area on the front of his body only. He now has peeling hands - the skin started peeling at one nail bed and has spread to both hands. It seems to start as air-filled areas under the skin that are thick dead skin that break open on their own and peel. There is no itching but does have an uncomfortable sensation for the child. Now the underlying skin is beginning to appear dry and cracked. A visit to a doctor has given rise to a dermatology appointment, but we are hoping to get another opinion sooner. The initial visit to an acute care center when the peeling started brought drawn blood (came back "normal"), raised eyebrows, lots of "Oh My"'s and searches in several medical books - - NOT reactions which informed nor comforted the parents nor child. What possibilities are there that this condition could be related to the strep throat? This was suggested as a possibility. Also, will this "peeling" continue?
Thanks for any help at all that would either alleviate our fear or inform us better.
Could be scarlet fever. Here is some info I copied:
Signs and Symptoms
The classic textbook symptoms of Strep Throat are sore throat, a white film covering the tonsils, tender and enlarged neck lymph nodes, and fever of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These classic symptoms, however, are seen in only 10% of the cases. A Strep infection could present with any combinations of the above symptoms. The symptoms start about three to four days after exposure to the bacteria. If none of the above symptoms (except for the sore throat, of course) are present, then the chance of Strep is practically zero. A sore throat associated with runny nose, cough, or other symptoms of a "common cold" is almost never due to Strep. A diagnostic (but rare) symptom of Strep infection, given the name scarlet fever, is a red blushing rash that starts on the body and gradually moves to the limbs. It has a "sandpaper" quality and later in its course causes peeling of the skin of the hands and soles of the feet.
and here is a Dermatology Forum question and answer:
Recently my 13 year-old son had a fever and minor sore throat. When the skin on his trunk turned deep red I suspected a strep infection. He was seen by his pediatrician who took a culture which proved negative. He said it was viral. OK fine. The rash was flat and red, covering his trunk, with the rest of his body just pinkish. He looked as though he had a bad sunburn. He was itchy and uncomfortable. After about a week, the rash faded (the low fever lasted 3 days). The wierd thing was that all of the skin that had been affected peeled off, again like a sunburn. The peeling of his hands was especially disgusting. The skin came off in thick pieces. My husband commented that his finger skin came off like sausage casings. His feet were unaffected. At this point he was feeling fine, eating well, sleeping well, no fever, no other symptoms. Except for slight rawness on the palm of one hand, the new skin looked great. His only difficulties were catching up with his homework with peeling hands, and the embarassment of taking his shirt off in gym class! He is a competitve gymnast, which may account for the relative thickness of the skin on his hands. I mentioned the peeling to the doctor, who said if he seems fine don't worry. Well, he seems fine. I'm not worried, just curious. What might is have been?
P.S. He has 5 siblings at home who have not shown any similar symptoms, although 3 have had minor colds and one had swollen glands (looked mump-like).
Thanks for your attention,
Answer Posted By: Derm-M.D.-ASR on Tuesday, October 15, 2002
You've given a good description of desquamation, or molting of the skin after a scarlatiniform (scarlet-fever-like) rash. This can occur after strep, or after a viral rash which looks like strep. Although the degree of your son's peeling is more than average, it has no significance, since there's a layer of new skin beneath it. The hands and feet peel most noticeably (no reason known.) He'll be good as new, though not necessarily any more obedient.
Wow! Thank you so much for your questions. My 16 year old is going through this exact same thing, identically. He just got the positive throat culture...but the large pieces of skin coming off of him were perplexing. This question, as well as the next one and the responses really helped!
My son was also diagnosed with strep throat and took a round of antibiotics to cure it. He had been doing fine up until a few days ago we noticed the skin peeling on his fingertips. I nearly scared myself to death searching on the internet trying to figure out what might be causing it. I am glad that I was able to find this site and read about the other children with this mysterious problem. I have been around so many children with all kinds of things but I had no idea that your skin may peel after strep/scarlet fever. I guess now that I know I will pass on the info!!!
oh my... I didn't have any idea this was so common. My daughter has come across strep 3 times and she is 4. She rarely complains of her throat bothering her, up until I notice the redness on her bottom and her index fingers getting dry and cracking. Is there a difference in scarlet fever? I know it is a strain but should I be more worried for some reason? I never knew that this was a symptom.
My 19 month old son's fingertips and toes are peeling. It's like dead skin that is coming off on it's own out of no where. He hasn't been sick in 2 months, or had a fever. The doctor said his throat is clear but did a strep test anyway. He is also sending us to a dermatologist. I am concerned at what else this can be since he hasn't been sick.
My son had same symptoms strep first then peeling of skin and was diagnosed 2 weeks later with kawasaki disease which is also accompanied by body rash and appears to mimic scarlet fever. you might want to discuss possibility with your dr
How was your child's doctor able to distinguish the two. My son has been ill for the past two weeks. It started with a rash, which lasted for a week. The doctor was at first concerned about Kawasaki's, but a day later diagnosed it as Scarlet fever. He said that Kawasaki's would be accompanied by a fever. 6 days after the onset of the rash, he got a fever which lasted 4 days, and was diagnosed with RSV, and pneumonia. He was admitted to the hospital for treatment. He is fine now, free of fever and rash, but is now going through this peeling of his hands. I am concerned. PLEASE HELP!
This is the third time my 8 yr old daughter has had a post strep infection, strep throat, strawberry tongue, cracked lips,sunburn lke rash in genital area and peeling fingers and toes. Doctors first suggested kawasaki disease, but then said she was too old at eight and said she should have red eyes aswell. I am now worried that they may have misdiagnosed it as a post strep infection, they have put her on a three mth course of penicillian.
3 weeks ago my 8 year old daughter complained of a sore throat, but had no fever a day later she had a sore in her ear which then turned scabby very soon . the next day she had a very small sore next to her nose but it didnt really concern me ,by the time she came out of school that day she had another sore on the bridge of her nose and small blisters on her face that peeled off if she touched them leaving raw skin and very red lips. after taking her to the GP we were sent to hospital where she had blood tests and swabs taken .She was treated for a strep infection. The next day she had what looked like sunburn in her groin area and her armpits which was hot to touch and sore but still no fever.this lasted for 2 days . 3 days after the redness went away she got what looked like blisters but with no fluid in on the tips of her fingers and toes which then started to peel .the GP thought it could be the end of the strep infection. The peeling continued over her whole face and chest and in patches on her arms and legs in fact it was everywhere she had had the lesions .3 weeks on the palms of her hands and the soles of her feet have just peeled.After looking on the net the only things i can find that cause peeling like this are scarlet fever and kawasaki disease but both mention fever which she has never had .I am worried in case it was kawasaki disease and she hasnt been treated for it . can someone please put my mind at rest.
This is interesting. I'm 27 years old and I got something that looked like strep infection despite the fact that the culture came out negative. Crappy testing. In many cases it will give false negative results. Two weeks later my fingers started to Peel. Now they are very dry and half peeled. I guess this is one of the site effects of strep toxins harboring under the skin
This winter has been the roughest for the kids having strep. My doctor said she had never seen this many kids with it in one season. If you like I have written what to look out for as well as treatments, just look on my page.
Hope everyone is ok!
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