Strawberry Tongue

5 Underlining Reasons for Strawberry Tongue

If your loved one or child has a deep red tint to their tongue with small blister sores, then they probably have a strawberry tongue. Although children are usually most affected by strawberry tongue, adults can get it too. This condition should be considered as a red flag because it shows that the sore tongue is only a symptom of a much bigger medical problem.


There are five main medical reasons for the appearance of strawberry tongue. Some of these reasons can even be life threatening, especially for toddlers or pre teen children. Their immune systems are not yet able to fully handle the diseases related to this condition.

Scarlet fever is an illness that is related to strawberry tongue. This disease happens when the bacteria streptococcus invades the body. But every child that comes in contact with the bacteria may not be affected. For example, if two children from the same families are infected with streptococcus, one may come down with Scarlett fever but the other may just get a normal strep throat. The strep throat can be easily treated with an antibiotic. For some children the strep bacteria turns into toxic poison within the body. Along with the red tongue, these children also get a rash that appears to look like sunburn and can be itchy. Small blisters can also form. The rash starts on the neck and face and quickly spreads to other areas of the body. A fever and swollen lymph nodes can also be seen. If properly treated with antibiotics, Scarlett fever can be cured in around a week.


Deficiencies of certain vitamins can be a contributing factor to strawberry tongue. Folic acid and B-12 deficiencies can make a person anemic. This affects red blood cell production by reducing the cells efficiency. This opens the body up to more than a few health problems, like difficulty breathing and intestinal issues. Incorporating more vitamins into your diet can help clear up this condition. Along with pills that have to be taken for a full four months.

Kawasaki syndrome is a condition that mostly affects children under the age of five. It isn't clear what causes this disease but some of the symptoms include a high fever, swollen lymph nodes, a rash on the abdominal area and a swollen red tongue. This disease can be cleared up with the proper medication but only if it is identified immediately. If it goes unnoticed, it can cause serious heart valve damage.

Geographic tongue is a condition that can be irritating. White or bald patches appear on the tongue and although it is not a serious problem, if it persists for two weeks or longer you must see a physician. It is not known what exactly causes geographic tongue but it mostly affects women and people with compromised immune systems. It also has a genetic background because most people who acquire it have siblings with the same problem.

Bacterial toxic shock syndrome has been associated with strawberry tongue. This condition may be fatal if not immediately diagnosed. It is caused by toxins produced by staphylococcus bacteria and has many symptoms. A high fever, extreme headache, sore throat and rashes are seen with this disease. Most cases of toxic shock syndrome are related to women and tampon use but anyone can get the disease. The treatments for the disease include an intravenous drip with anti resistant antibiotics and maybe even dialysis, to remove the bacteria from the blood.

If you see any of these symptoms especially in children, seek medical help immediately. Most of the underlining reasons for strawberry tongue can easily be corrected by your doctor.