A frostbitelike a rash on a person’s toes symptom of the new coronavirus, according to anecdotal evidence from dermatologists around the world.
However, research is needed to determine if this particular rash is really caused by COVID-19.
The pink-reddish rash can turn purple over time and cause a burning sensation in some people, Dr. Esther Freeman, dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told the Washington Post. But the inflammation tends to go away without treatment in two to three weeks, said Freeman.
Related: 13 myths about coronaviruses destroyed by science
So far, the data shows that most people called “convulsive toes” are asymptomatic or have mild cases of the disease, Freeman told the Post. In addition, this strange rash tends to affect the younger crowd, including children and adults in their twenties or thirties, she said.
“Most of the patients were young, healthy and had a mild clinical course,” she told the Post. “I don’t want people to think, if they have purple spots on their toes, they’re going to end up with a ventilator in the ICU. This is not what we see in the data. “
A series of Covid toe images, photographed by Italian dermatologist Andrea Bassi and published on Twitter show the range of appearances this rash can take.
Please note that there are skin signs of convection. Purple red papules on the fingers and toes. It looks like frostbite / pernio. May have no other symptoms of seizure. Seen in young people. Pernio images like Covid-19 changes from Italy @TamarPedsRheum @NataliaVasCan @IreneBlancoMD pic.twitter.com/5jKp04YykqApril 11, 2020
But there is still a lot to learn, so Freeman and colleagues who are part of a working group of the American Academy of Dermatology have created a COVID-19 online dermatology registry, where health workers may report skin problems that appear to be related to COVID-19, including frostbite-like rashes.
Researchers hope the database will help doctors “understand the relationship between the virus and the skin” and determine if any of these skin problems can help in the early detection of the disease, the team wrote in a report published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
To date, about half of the more than 300 entries in the database have twisted toes, USA today reported on April 27.
Freeman noted that these rashes include sores or bumps called pernio or frostbite, which usually occur when a person’s foot has been exposed to extremely cold temperatures. However, since these rashes occur in the spring and in patients with COVID-19, cold temperatures are unlikely to be the cause.
Instead, dermatologists say it is possible that inflammation of the toes can cause the rash, Freeman told USA Today. Other ideas are that small blood clots in the blood vessels of the toe can lead to a rash, or that the walls of the blood vessels are inflamed due to a condition called vasculitis.
One of the first reports of convulsive toes appeared in early April, when French doctors noted that the rash had “an appearance of pseudo-frostbite” and “persistent, sometimes painful redness, and transient hive lesions.” (Translated with Google Translate.)
The mention of the toes resurfaces on April 18 in a Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology case report. In the case report, the researchers described a 23-year-old student in Belgium who had “frostbite induced by COVID-19 infection”.
It is not uncommon for viruses to cause skin rashes. Measles, for example, can cause flat itching, while coxsackie can cause painful sores in the hands, feet, and mouth, the Post reported.
Originally posted on Live Science.