SRINAGAR: Medical officials are finding out new things about the coronavirus every day. And with the results from initial clinical trials becoming published and new viral-strains of the coronavirus becoming known, new symptoms directly related to coronavirus infections have come to light as well. The newest one: “COVID toes.”
COVID toes, which is now a telltale symptom of the coronavirus infection, are reddish painful childblain-like lesions that appear on and around the toes, feet and ankles – often reaching several toes and in many cases both feet, reported Jerusalem Post.
Those who have COVID toes will see their feet blister up and become swollen, inflamed, irritated, itchy and “almost shiny.” Over the course of the reaction, the lesions may eventually appear purple.
Most of the patients who contracted this skin condition were otherwise healthy and asymptomatic – many went untested.
Medical papers published in Spain, Italy and Belgium have reported a spike in complaints about blistered toes since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, adding that most of the patients are children, adolescents and young, healthy adults.
“The most important message to the public is not to panic – most of the patients we are seeing with these lesions are doing extremely well,” Dr. Esther Freeman, director of global health dermatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital said, according to The New York Times. “They’re having what we call a benign clinical course. They’re staying home, they’re getting better, the toe lesions are going away.”
According to Johns Hopkins University dermatologist Dr Tola Oyesanya, while its unclear why COVID toes actually happens, from what she has experienced, young healthy patients tend to develop this reaction over elderly patients, and the onset of the symptoms tends to arise in the late stages of the viral cycle: around day 9 or 10.
“So if they were having low-grade symptoms, maybe around day 9, day 10 is when they develop these changes in the toes, and if those patients are then sent for a COVID-19 test, we’re finding that most of those patients are actually testing negative,” Oyesanya said, according to CBS Baltimore.
“Most patients that have these toe findings are not becoming very, very sick, they’re not systemically ill, they’re not having symptoms that are driving them to the hospital. They just have low-grade symptoms if they have symptoms at all,” she added.
Many medical officials agree with Oyesanya’s reposed outlook on the skin condition, adding that those who experience COVID toes shouldn’t be alarmed – it’s a great indicator that a patient had already contracted COVID-19, and their body responded to the viral infection swiftly and in stride.
“The good news is that the chilblain-like lesions usually mean you’re going to be fine,” said Dr Lindy Fox, a San Francisco-based dermatologist. “Usually it’s a good sign your body has seen COVID and is making a good immune reaction to it.”