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Erythema infectiosum - Treating slapped cheek syndrome

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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There is no vaccination for slapped cheek syndrome and, for most people, the infection is usually a mild illness, which quickly passes without the need for treatment.

There are various self-care techniques that you can use to help relieve symptoms. These are explained below.

  • Painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be used to relieve symptoms, such as a high temperature, headache and joint pain. Children aged 16 or under should not take aspirin.
  • Antihistamines can be used to relieve the symptoms of itchy skin. Some antihistamines are not suitable for children who are less than two years old, so check with your pharmacist beforehand.
  • Another way to soothe itchy skin is to use a moisturising lotion.
  • Make sure that you (or your child) get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids as this will help to relieve the symptoms of sore throat and a high temperature.
  • Adults who develop joint pain can be treated with painkillers that are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen.

Glossary

  • Pain: Pain is an unpleasant physical or emotional feeling that your body produces as a warning sign that it has been damaged.
  • Fever: A high temperature, also known as a fever, is when someone's body temperature goes above the normal 37°C (98.6°F).
  • Anti-inflammatory: Anti-inflammatory medicines reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Joint: Joints are the connection point between two bones that allow movement.
  • Swelling: Inflammation is the body's response to infection, irritation or injury, which causes redness, swelling, pain and sometimes a feeling of heat in the affected area.
Medical Review: November 09, 2011
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