(NEXSTAR) – Some patients diagnosed with COVID-19 may experience an unusual symptom of a rash on the toes.
Known as “COVID toes,” little is known about the infection and why it occurs.
According to Dawn Davis, a dermatologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., COVID toes mimic a well-known ailment called pernio: skin lesions or bumps that occur after exposure to cold.
“Covid toe is a disease-like reaction we think is caused by inflammation or hardening of the veins in the feet, which can be caused by an inflammatory response that affects the walls of blood vessels or blood cells, or both. Collectively, ”Davis said.
Symptoms include redness, purple discoloration, and “congestion”;, where blood leaks into surrounding tissues, may also be itchy and burning.
The illness, which can occur in both adults and children, usually lasts several weeks and can be painful.
“Sometimes it itches and is often painful,” Dr. Amy Paller, chair of the department of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told Nexstar’s WGN. There are no other signs of viral infection. “
It is not yet known what the toe of COVID is or why it occurs.
“We’ll have to find out more as this goes,” said Paller.
What’s especially strange about COVID toes is that they usually occur several weeks after the first COVID-19 exposure.They’re also more likely to affect people with lower body mass because they have little supportive tissue. Than between the main
As Dawn said she had been treated for a few cases, Paller said, “We are seeing it. [COVID toes] In unprecedented numbers during the COVID outbreak “
Although it still has to be understood a lot But the coronavirus is a useful diagnostic clue, suggesting doctors that asymptomatic patients may have the virus.
“The skin is the window underneath,” said Dawn, “another clue to a possible diagnosis of COVID.”