You probably know the usual symptoms of strep throat, but strep bacteria can also affect other parts of the body, says Joy Ziegler, MD, a pediatrician in Wakefield, Rhode Island. See any of these signs? Call an MD in case your child needs antibiotics.
Infection: Strep Impetigo
What it looks like: A rash, usually around the nose or mouth. It starts off as red sores that rupture within a few days and form yellowish crusts. Kids get impetigo when bacteria invade a cut in the skin or nasal lining.
Infection: Genital Strep
What it looks like: Pimples or a bright-red rash, possibly with a white coating, in the genital area. When strep throat or impetigo is going around, kids can spread the bacteria below the belt. Anal strep causes painful bowel movements, and your child might complain of a sore bottom. Vaginal strep makes urinating painful.
Infection: Scarlet Fever
What it looks like: A red, sandpapery rash on the torso (it usually shows up in the groin and underarms) that's caused by the toxins produced by strep bacteria. Scarlet fever may accompany strep throat.
Originally published in the March 2009 issue of Parents magazine.