What is the pathophysiology of rash in scarlet fever?

Updated: Jun 21, 2019
  • Author: Bahman Sotoodian, MD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

As the name “scarlet fever” implies, an erythematous eruption is associated with a febrile illness. The circulating toxin, produced by GABHS and often referred to as erythemogenic or erythrogenic toxin, causes the pathognomonic rash as a consequence of local production of inflammatory mediators and alteration of the cutaneous cytokine milieu. This results in a sparse inflammatory response and dilatation of blood vessels, leading to the characteristic scarlet color of the rash. [9]


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