As COVID-19 cases continue to surge around the UK and the rest of the world, health officials continually update what we know about how the virus affects people. One of the more unusual symptoms reported so far is a painful red rash that spreads across the toes. Dubbed COVID toes, the symptom sees one’s toes turn red, swell up and sometimes blister. Marion Yau, podiatrist at Harley Medical Foot and Nail Clinic, spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk to discuss the COVID-19 symptom known as COVID toe.
Marion said: “The reasons for COVID toe are a mystery to doctors and foot specialists, with no clear explanation for the different types of rashes seen on patients suffering from COVID-19.
“These rashes on the feet and toes can be an early sign of COVID-19 and can be found in asymptomatic patients.
“Symptoms reported in children and adults include skin lesions similar to those seen in chickenpox, measles and chilblains that can last from ten to 14 days.
“Lesions can be purple, grey and blue and can come as patches, and where it affects one toe, the digit can become swollen and inflamed.”
Coronavirus symptoms update: Expert discusses Covid toes and how to treat
When asked if there are any other accompanying symptoms alongside COVID toes, Marion answered: “Some people have reported pins and needles in their extremities, which could be vascular injury caused by the COVID-19 virus.
“These symptoms are rare, and the toes should heal themselves within a few weeks.
“A recent study suggests that it may not be caused by COVID-19 itself, but rather is a symptom of the lockdown lifestyle, as people spend their day barefoot and walking on cold floors.”
“Red or tender toes could be chilblains, which affect women more frequently than men. You will be more at risk if you are underweight and if your skin is exposed to the damp or cold.”
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In a study published in the National Library of Health, chilblain-like lesions in COVID-19 infected patients was investigated.
The study noted: “Acral chilblain-like lesions are being increasingly reported during COVID-19 pandemic.
“Nineteen patients, all adolescents, were recruited with 58 percent of them and/or their cohabitants reported flu-like symptoms one to two months prior to skin manifestation onset.
Coronavirus symptoms update: Covid toes are chilblain-like lesions causing blisters and redness
“Lesions were localized to toes and also heels and soles.”
The study concluded that chilblain-like lesions during COVID-19 pandemic have specific epidemiologic.
Though the study could not formally prove SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients, history data and the detection of anti-SARS-COV-2 IgA strongly suggest a relationship between skin lesions and COVID-19.
Asked how one can combat COVID toes, Marion advised: “Take some pain-killers if the lesions are uncomfortable, keep the area warm by wearing thicker socks, and never walk barefooted.
“Hydrocortisone can also be used to reduce the pain and itching. If symptoms have not improved after several weeks, contact your GP.”
Health experts believe COVID toes are associated with the virus but may not be caused by it.
The inflammation may be part of an immune response to the infection.
Source:Daily Express :: Health Feed