Skin problems like COVID toes may last up to 130 days despite recovery from coronavirus infection, claims study

The scientists advise healthcare professionals to check for and evaluate any skin-related symptoms of COVID-19 once the patient recovers.

Myupchar October 30, 2020 15:59:23 IST
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Skin problems like COVID toes may last up to 130 days despite recovery from coronavirus infection, claims study

A visualisation of the COVID-19 virus. Image courtesy Fusion Medical Animation

At the beginning of this year, COVID-19 was considered to be only a respiratory disease. As time passed and more research was conducted, we came to know that it can cause damage to many other vital organs of the body as well. It has also been noticed that the novel coronavirus can result in long-term respiratory issues and fatigue.

Now, a recent study presented at the 29th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, which was conducted online from 29th to 31st October 2020, has found that COVID-19 long haulers can present with persistent skin-related problems long after their infection has cleared.

Long haulers of COVID-19

Many recovered COVID-19 patients complained of persistent symptoms of the illness even after getting a negative result for the presence of the virus in their body. While some people may face similar symptoms which they would have been facing during the illness period, others may present with different symptoms after testing negative. These patients are known as COVID long haulers.

Skin-related symptoms of COVID-19 in long haulers

In this study, scientists from the Massachusetts General Hospital, along with the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology, established an international registry in April 2020 to record the skin symptoms of COVID-19 .

In this registry, the scientists documented around 1,000 cases of patients who presented with skin symptoms of COVID-19 .

Of all the patients, the median duration of symptoms in COVID-19 long haulers was 12 days. The duration of different skin symptoms for patients with lab-confirmed and suspected COVID-19 infection were:

1. Rash-like morbilliform lasted for a median duration of seven days

2. Urticarial eruptions lasted for a median duration of four days

3. Papulosquamous eruptions lasted for a median duration of 20 days for lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 . However, one of these patients showed the symptom for up to 70 days.

4. Pernio (chilblains), also known as COVID toes, lasted for a median duration of 10 days in lab-confirmed cases and 15 days in suspected cases. However, in some cases, COVID toes lasted for 130 days after the infection was confirmed in the lab.

With this study, scientists confirmed that patients who survive the coronavirus infection may present with long-lasting skin symptoms, especially COVID toes. The scientists further stated that this study confirms that COVID-19 infection can affect different organs and systems of the body and skin could be a way to evaluate the residual inflammation after the viral load is cleared.

The scientists advise healthcare professionals to check for and evaluate any skin-related symptoms of COVID-19 once the patient recovers.

For more information, read our article on COVID-19

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.

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