Toes are the most commonplace COVID-19 rashes appear.

You might be hearing reports of skin rashes, particularly around the toe area, with COVID-19 patients. Yes, China initially reported skin rashes that looked a bit like front-bite. They reported that this occurred in approximately 0.2% of 1000 COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 patients are displaying many types of skin rashes believed to be symptoms of that disease.

More recently, Italy reported a rate of toe rashes around twenty percent. Since these reports surfaced, more doctors around the world are noting this symptom and reporting it. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have added skin rash as a symptom of COVID-19.

Does COVID-19 cause the rash? Do the medications used to treat COVID-19 cause the rash? No one seems to know. Viruses like chickenpox, measles, and herpes cause rashes. It is not out of the realm that COVID-19 could cause a rash.

The British Journal of Dermatology published a peer-reviewed article by a group of Spanish researchers that describes five different types of rashes based on 375 case studies associated with COVID-19.

Nearly twenty percent of the Spanish case study reported a rash on both the hands and feet that looks like chilblains, itchy and tender red or purple bumps. They occurred in younger patients and were associated with itchiness and pain. These COVID-19 patients had mild symptoms overall. The rash lasted about twelve days.

Around ten percent of the COVID-19 rash patients in this study had blisters on the abdomen, back, arms, and legs. These patients were middle-age with the rashes appearing before other COVID-19 symptoms. They were itchy and lasted around ten days.

Another twenty percent reported in this case study had a hives-like rash with slightly elevated reddish or white patches on the skin. These rashes appeared on the bodies with some having them on their palms. The rashes lasted a week and were found with more of the severe cases of COVID-19.

The most common rash (just under fifty percent) among the patients in this COVID-19 study showed a flat, reddish patch of skin deemed to be a maculopapular rash. This rash occurred at the same time as the other COVID-19 rashes. They lasted a little over a week.

The smallest group of rashes showed a symptom called livedo (necrosis) mimicking a condition associated with poor blood circulation. It showed up in a little over five percent of the patients. It was characterized by purplish skin with a lace-type pattern.

A case study published two weeks ago by JAMA Dermatology identified two more types of skin rashes they believe to be associated with COVID-19 patients. One is a scaly rash called digitate papulosquamous and the other is petechia which has tiny purple, red, or brown spots caused by bleeding under the skin.

American dermatologists reported in JAMA Dermatology that other rash symptoms have been observed with COVID-19 patients. They are skin eruptions. Dermatologists have concluded that additional time and study will be needed to determine the cause of these types of rashes.

The American Academy of Dermatology established a registry for healthcare workers to collect information on skin conditions found in COVID-19 patients. They hope that this database will help early detection and treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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