COVID-19, commonly known as the infection of the lungs has affected numerous lives all over the world. Although previously known to cause pneumonia-like symptoms, a new symptom of coronavirus is the formation of lesions and rashes on the body.
This condition causes rashes that appear on the body along with lesions and frostbite like patches. This new coronavirus symptom is named “COVID toes” as the lesions mostly appear on the toes. But there have been cases reported recently which show that the lesions also appear on other parts of the body such as the lower limbs. The cases found with these symptoms were published online on Aril 30 in JAMA Dermatology.
In the first case, the patient from Wuhan in China was affected by the coronavirus had a rash on the torso. The patient was tested positive for the Epstein-bar virus which is related to COVID-19 and the rash was thought to appear as a reaction to the virus. Even though the rash was treated in a week the patient could not survive.
The other case was reported of a man from Spain who had skin rashes on the thighs as well as buttocks and was COVID-19 positive. The researchers believed that the immune response to the virus was responsible for causing the rash as it disappeared on its own in less than a week and the patient also recovered from the coronavirus.
Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston said that the symptom is not that severe and the lesions get treated without any medication. According to her, even though COVID toes is not a serious problem but it should not be ignored. However, developing this condition alone does not mean a person should get admitted to the hospital or even get a test. Ideally, the person should talk to their dermatologist or a doctor.
Although the lesions look like frostbites, they are not caused due to prolonged exposure to cold or due to a rheumatologic disease. Skin rashes are usually caused due to the inflammation in the blood circulatory system which is probably the case in COVID toes. Contrary to the common belief, COVID toes are not only limited to children but the symptom is also seen in adults.
A viral infection causing skin infection is not something new as the viruses causing herpes, measles, or chickenpox also cause skin conditions which include lesions and rashes on various parts of the body.
According to Dr. Raman Madan, a dermatologist at the Northwell Health Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York, COVID toes is a new symptom of a viral infection and it is not usually seen in a lot of cases.
This rash is also thought to appear when the virus has been cleared from the body as most of the people when tested for the viral culture are tested negative but tested positive for the presence of the antibodies against the virus.
The new coronavirus symptom can be helpful in the diagnosis of COVID-19 when present along with the other respiratory conditions. The dermatologists can also guide the patients with these signs and symptoms to get themselves tested.