Red spots on the throat are usually a sign of sore throat. But there are many other conditions that can cause that painful, dry, and scratchy feeling in the throat. In most cases, pain in the throat is the first and initial symptom of sore throat.
According to statistics, there are more than 13 million cases of sore throats per year.
In most cases, the cause of sore throat and red spots on the throat is an infection. But it can also be caused by environmental factors like dry air, polluted air, and more.
Sore throat and red spots on the throat are an uncomfortable condition. The good news is in most cases, it will go away on its own. But we can also talk about remedies for red spots on the throat as well.
Difference between sore and strep throat
A lot of people make the mistake between sore and strep throat. While both manifest as red spots on the throat, it is important to know the difference, because the treatment is different.
In both cases, you will notice your throat aches and burns, and it is quite painful to swallow. Basically, you know something is wrong, but the question is, how bad is it? Will it get better without antibiotics? Can you use home remedies? Or you absolutely must visit the doctor.
Strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection. A streptococcus bacteria infects your throat and tonsils, and your body responds.
Antibiotics will help with the condition, as they will kill off the bacteria causing problems and red spots on throat. Treatment for sore throat, on the other hand, is quite different.
Sore throat is not as painful as strep throat. And the cause is different. Sore throat is caused by a virus, and it will not respond to antibiotics. You can try as much as you like, but antibiotics will not help with a sore throat.
A sore throat can last longer than a week, and it keeps coming back. Sore throat also makes your voice hoarse, and if that happens for more than two weeks, it is time to visit a doctor’s office.
Causes of red spots on throat
As mentioned before, sore and strep throat are not the only causes of red spots on the throat. In fact, there are more than 20 different conditions that can cause red spots on the throat.
Here is a quick breakdown of all the conditions that might be causing your throat to be itchy and painful.
- Viral pharyngitis is basically a sore throat caused by a virus. The symptoms are very similar to the common cold, along with the throat pain that can be very irritating
- Strep throat, as mentioned previously, is a throat infection caused by a bacteria that causes symptoms like red spots on throat and white patches
- Tonsillitis is a painful swelling in the tonsils. The condition can cause red tonsils, pain, sore throat, and sometimes even fever
- Laryngitis is an inflammation that causes hoarseness of your voice, as well as loss of voice. The inflammation affects the larynx, and it can also manifest as red spots on throat
- Scarlet fever is a red and itchy rash on the body caused by streptococcal bacteria. The rash can appear anywhere on the body, but mostly it manifests on the throat. The same bacteria causing scarlet fever can cause strep throat. You’ll experience high fever, and that is the difference
- The common cold is one of the most frequent causes of red spots on the throat. It is a viral respiratory infection that causes not only a sore throat, but also stuffy and runny nose, headache, and much more
- Acute sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, causing facial redness and sinus pain. In many cases, you’ll also experience tenderness of the sinuses
- Dust exposure can cause congestion, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and much more. And it manifests as red spots
- You can also be affected by indoor allergens, not just outdoor. Dust mites, mould, pet hair, and similar allergens can cause an allergic reaction manifesting as red spots on throat
- Many people are allergic to smoke exposure. When left in an area where smoking is allowed for an extended period, they can develop symptoms like coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, chest pain, and much more
- Thermal burn of mouth or tongue is a condition that causes pain, peeling skin, temporary loss of taste, and blisters
- Mononucleosis, a viral infection, can cause extreme fatigue, sore throat, rash or red spots, fever, muscle aches, and much more. It is basically a more severe sore throat
- Epiglottitis is a rare, and life-threatening illness that prevents air from getting to the lungs. And it manifests as sore throat
- The respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, can cause symptoms similar to the common cold, including sore throat, rash, runny nose, and fever
- Mumps, a contagious viral disease, causes painful swelling of the glands producing saliva. By affecting the glands, mumps basically cause red spots on throat
- Thyroid cancer is another severe condition that can manifest as red spots on the throat. Symptom include hoarseness, a lump in the neck, cough, and much more
- Toxic shock syndrome is a serious bacterial infection causing low blood pressure, rash in the throat, fever, and much more
- Throat cancer is another type of cancer that can be caused by red spots. Other symptoms include difficulty swallowing, chronic cough, and hoarseness
- Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a painful and blistering skin rash. In most cases, the rash appears on the back and sides of the chest. But it can appear anywhere on the body, including manifesting as red spots on throat
How to relieve sore throat
As mentioned at the beginning, sore throat manifesting as red spots on the throat is a virus infection. That means antibiotics won’t help you.
So, what can you do? If you are suffering from a sore throat, your best bet for getting better is to turn to home remedies.
The good news is that you can treat most sore throats with natural and home remedies.
The most important thing is to give your immune system a rest and chance to fight off the infection.
Apple cider vinegar
A natural health tonic, ACV has been used in folk medicine for centuries. You can relieve sore throat pain by drinking one cup of warm water mixed with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. If that taste is too strong for you, feel free to add a tablespoon of honey.
Possibly one of the simplest remedies for sore throat. You can say it is the best-kept secret for relieving pain. Salt helps reduce swelling and will kill microbes causing the sore throat. Use one cup of warm water, and add one teaspoon of salt. Stir to dissolve, and then gargle for 30 seconds, once every hour.
Sweet and delicious, honey is great for killing all of the microbes causing sore throat, swelling, pain, and red spots on throat. Just make sure you are not giving to children younger than 12 months. Just eat a tablespoon of honey in the morning every day until the sore throat is gone.
Lemons contain vitamin C, an ingredient that is the key to helping your immune system fight off infections, be it viral or bacterial. Lemon also increases the amount of saliva you produce, keeping your mucous membranes moist. Squeeze one lemon, and combine with water and some honey.
To prepare ginger tea, you need one fresh ginger root, 1l of water, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some honey. To be fair, lemon and honey are optional, if you cannot stand the taste of pure ginger.
Peel the ginger root, and then grate it into a small bowl. Boil water, and then place one tablespoon of grated ginger in a cup with warm water. Cover with a lid, and let it steep for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and honey if you like to alter the taste.