The usual suspects when it comes to signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) are dry cough, fever, shortness of breath, and feeling tired for no reason.
People who are asymptomatic won’t show or exhibit any symptoms, but they could still easily transmit the virus.
As COVID-19 continues to spread all over the world, lesser-known symptoms are starting to emerge, such as: lack of a sense of smell, diarrhea, vomiting, and a variety of skin problems, like rashes and lesions.
Recent news has shown that there are some skin allergies or rashes that could be indicative of COVID-19. These developments have led to skin dermatologists looking at and examining symptoms virtually.
This has led to a new, emerging COVID-19 symptom called ‘COVID Toes’.
COVID Toes: The Newest COVID-19 Symptom?
The wider COVID-19 spreads, the more certain emerging symptoms are being associated with it. Though initially disregarded, COVID toes are now being studied carefully to see if this condition truly is a symptom of COVID-19.
It’s important to note, however, that various rashes associated with a virus is not a new phenomenon.
Whenever a new virus goes around, there is an expected rise in skin complaints, particularly rashes.
What Do ‘COVID Toes’ Look Like?
COVID toes are characterized by swelling that is red, sore, and sometimes itchy.
The may look similar to chilblains, which are red, patchy blisters typically seen on the feet and hands of people who are often outdoors. There’s no need to panic though, since most patients with this symptom have not become severely ill.
Though it looks really unusual, COVID toes are actually not a common symptom. The usual symptoms are still those of respiratory nature such as not being able to breathe easily, fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
COVID toes and rashes are not as widespread yet.
Are ‘COVID Toes’ Contagious?
Another thing to note is that it has not been established whether ‘COVID toes’ are contagious. Since most of the consultation are done via online videos or images, doctors are not yet able to do the necessary tests.
After all, there are other medical conditions, like lupus, that cause similar spots. Due to this, doctors are making sure to be more discerning and discuss the overall health of the patient as well as next steps for testing and other necessary care.
What is the Exact Cause of COVID Toes?
It is not yet known why COVID toes occur. However, it is not uncommon for a person to have blotchy areas on their body when they have a viral infection. This is one of the ways that the body reacts to the virus.
One pattern that seems to be common for those who reportedly have the COVID toes are red lesions found on the soles. This could be due to the skin’s reaction to a small clog or micro clots in the blood vessels in the toes.
Skin Rashes as COVID-19 Emerging Symptoms
Aside from COVID Toes, there are currently five types of skin rashes that seem to affect COVID-19 patients according to a small study by Spanish doctors.
According to BBC, the five rashes were:
Asymmetrical, chilblain-like lesions around the hands and feet, which could be itchy or painful.
These were found in younger patients and lasted, on average, 12 days. These symptoms, which accounted for 19% of causes, appeared later on in the course of the disease and were associated with mild infections.
Outbreaks of small blisters, often itchy, found on the trunk and limbs.
These were found in middle-aged patients, in around 9% of cases. These small blisters typically lasted around 10 days, and appeared before other symptoms.
Pink or white raised areas of skin that looked liked nettle rash, and often itchy.
These symptoms, which were seen in 19% of cases, appeared on the body but sometimes on the palms of the hands.
Maculopapules are small, flat, and raised red bumps and accounted for 47% of cases. They lasted around seven days and appeared at the same time as other symptoms, but tended to be seen in patients with more severe infections.
Livedo (also known as necrosis)
This was present in 6% of cases. The skin looked blotchy-red or blue, with a net-like pattern. It’s a sign of poor blood circulation. This appeared in older patients with severe illnesses.
However, as mentioned, skin rashes can have many causes and until a complete test has been done, it would be difficult to differentiate between the different ones as well as identify the source of the rash.
Though ‘COVID Toes’ can look pretty alarming, at this point, they are not an immediate cause for concern. More studies are needed to further cement this findings. We will update this article as more information rolls in.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.