Have you heard of COVID-Toes?

Sandy Beach Toes with Nail Polish by Juja Han

If you have odd symptoms such as a red, “net-like” rash on your legs or red, itchy, swollen toes, it could be related to COVID-19. People all over the world have recently been experiencing strange rashes or skin irritations like those in the graphic below. Medical professionals have now determined that these skin issues are sometimes surprising early symptoms of coronavirus infection.  Doctors are coining the phrase “COVID toes” for the peculiar toe inflammations, which can hurt, burn, and itch.  

In recent studies, one in five COVID-19 patients had associated skin manifestations. Some of these rashes and lesions are thought to result from the overstimulation of the immune system during the infection. This overstimulation leads to a heightened clotting tendency in some patients that produces skin effects. Other problems may occur because of the viral particles themselves and the damage they cause to the skin cells. Still other issues may be caused by the virus-killing chemicals that are released during the body’s immune response. 

Skin Manifestations of COVID-19

Doctors do not fully understand all the causal mechanisms or why some people are affected this way and others are not. Skin symptoms are still considered relatively rare signs of the virus. In affected patients, many different body parts including arms, legs, buttocks, fingers, and toes have been involved. 

It is not that surprising to find this relationship between COVID-19 and skin manifestations. Many viral illnesses--think measles, chickenpox, and shingles--are known to cause skin symptoms and rashes.

It’s good to know that all of the skin issues are treatable by medical professionals. While unpleasant these symptoms could provide a helpful, early alert to an otherwise silent coronavirus infection and allow for prompt treatment.

More common COVID-19 Symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

If you or a family member are showing symptoms, get in touch with your primary care physician and take measures to ensure you don’t spread the virus to others. Browse our site for information on strengthening your immune system naturally.

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