Coronavirus: Don’t ignore these signs on your toes

The signs and symptoms of the coronavirus that has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation vary widely. While some remain conspicuously asymptomatic others suffer pneumonia-like conditions that can turn fatal.

However, a little-known-about symptom is now being discussed in dermatology circles called ‘COVID toes’. It’s a condition that sees chilblain, or frostbite-like purple welts appear on the hands or feet of people who may otherwise show no symptoms of COVID-19.

Who were these bumps most noticed in?

Younger people, including children.

Where was the phenomenon first noticed?

In Italy, Dr Sanober Amin, dermatologist at Grapevine TX, was quoted as saying by Dallas-Fort Worth News.

Are these lesions a confirmation of COVID-19?

Fox News quoted Dr Amy Paller, chair of the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, as saying she has recently seen a large number of teen and young adult patients with lesions, or painful bumps, on their toes.

Are these lesions painful?

“They’re typically painful to touch and could have a hot burning sensation,” Dr Ebbing Lautenbach, chief of infectious disease at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, was quoted as saying to TV station Wifr 23.

What could be causing it?

“One hypothesis is there’s just a lot of inflammation caused by the virus,” Freeman said. The condition resembles pernio, caused by exposure to cold temperatures, resulting in inflammation, which can appear as skin sores or bumps.

The other theory is that the symptom is due to blood vessel clots, which can occur in COVID-19 patients.

“I don’t feel comfortable saying it’s one or the other,” Freeman explained. “It could be a bit of both.”