The diagnosis of scarlet fever is usually made from the symptoms alone.
Although scarlet fever is usually a mild illness that settles itself, prompt antibiotic treatment is needed to reduce the risk of spreading the infection and developing complications.2
The first choice of treatment is phenoxymethylpenicillin unless the person has a penicillin allergy. The antibiotic must be taken for 10 days, but recovery is usually within 4-5 days. It is, however, important to complete the course of antibiotics to ensure the infection completely clears, even though the symptoms tend to settle before.
If antibiotics are not taken, then the person may be infectious for 2-3 weeks after the symptoms start.
Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used to help control the fever.