COVID toes are a lesser known symptom of coronavirus which doctors have identified being the cause of COVID-19. Doctors declared COVID toes are interesting as they appear in infected patients who do not exhibit any other symptoms. They have been described as painful to touch and could have a hot burning sensation.
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Dermatologists and doctors have been inundated with queries regarding COVID toes.
Concerns have been raised by many due to a sudden change in colour on their toes described as either purple or pink.
The new phenomena began mostly in Europe with those infected with COVID toes being reported in Spain, Italy and France.
Scientists say it may be a sign of how widespread the deadly virus is.
So why are people developing this unusual symptom and how to know if your discolouration on your feet is due to COVID-19 or something else?
Dr Esther Freeman said: “Even before we started hearing any reports about dermatologic manifestations of COVID-19, we were wondering about how we could better understand what would happen to our existing dermatologic patients who contracted COVID-19.
“In particular, we were concerned about patients who were on biologics, or those with pre-existing dermatologic conditions such as psoriasis, eczema or lupus, to name a few.
“We started hearing more and more reports about different skin manifestation in COVID-19.”
Why would the toes be affected by COVID-19?
Doctors have stated its actually common for people to develop rashes when they’re battling infections, especially those which infected the respiratory system.
It’s unclear, however, what causes the skin to react to this virus as it has but there could be several reasons including tiny clots in the toes’ blood vessels.
There has been mounting evidence COVID-19 causes abnormalities in blood clotting.
Patients with severe COVID-19 infections appear to be at greater risk of developing blood clots in the veins and arteries.
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Blood clots can occur deep in the veins of the legs and move to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, which restricts blood flow and oxygen and can be extremely fatal.
Some hospitals have reportedly been putting COVID-19 patients on low doses of blood thinners to combat these dangerous blood clots.
Doctors have been seeing an alarming number of COVID-19 patients with blood clots which are gel-like clumps in the blood.
Dr Jeffrey Laurence, a haematologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York told CNN: “The number of clotting problems I’m seeing in the ICU, all related to COVID-19 is unprecedented.”
Dr Freeman added: “In terms of viruses and their effect on the skin, in dermatology we are used to viruses causing different viral rashes and eruptions.”
As there are so many different types of rashes patients can get, there is no clear patten which has been linked to COVID-19.
Doctors and scientists say that COVID toes generally clear up on their own in about a week with no long-term damage to the skin.
If you experience a foot rash or notice a strange discolouration on your feet, its important to speak with your doctor and monitor any other potential COVID-19 symptoms.
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