COVID toes: The disturbing new coronavirus symptom

Research has discovered a new coronavirus symptom called ‘COVID Toes’ the inflammatory condition can lead to swelling purple toes and which in some cases could last months.

COVID toes: The disturbing new coronavirus symptom
© Getty Images
COVID toes: The disturbing new coronavirus symptom

Scientists have recently discovered that those suffering from coronavirus may also develop a freaky side effect known affectionately as covid toes.

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Researchers from both the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology have found that some coronavirus patients had shown evidence of inflammatory symptoms in their toes often cause them to become swollen or even change colour.

The condition usually develops between one to four weeks after being infected and could last for months at a time. However, in the majority of cases, the symptoms seem to be mild and disappear within weeks.

Scientists have discovered that one in six patients exhibiting covid toes tend to require a trip to the hospital, while those suffering fromlong-covidmay suffer from the symptom for months.

Principal investigator of the International Covid-19 Dermatology Registry, Dr Esther Freeman claimed:

It seems there is a certain sub-group of patients that, when they get Covid, they develop inflammation in their toes, which turns them red and swollen, and then they eventually turn purple. In most cases, it is self-resolved and it goes away. It is relatively mild. It lasts on average about 15 days. But we have seen patients lasting a month or two months.
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Figures showed that out of all the coronavirus patients on the registry, half of them had developed covid toes, and a further 16% had to be hospitalised due to the strange symptom. Dr Freeman continued:

What is very surprising is when you get beyond that 60-day mark - because it's not like patients are resolving at day 70. It's the fact that some of our patients are at over 150 days now - these are patients with red or purple or swollen toes for many months.

Dr Freeman also believes that by identifying the symptom, doctors will be able to gain a better understanding of how the virus affects other parts of the body. She explained:

The skin can be viewed as a window into the rest of the body because it is inflammation which you can see - and can be indicative of inflammation elsewhere.

The data was collected by doctors all over the world who were treating patients with skin issues, meaning that there are potentially many more people who have flown under the radar and failed to seek help.

As more coronavirus symptoms and side effects become more known the more people will become aware that they may need to seek medical help. Dr Freeman stated:

I think what we're reporting is probably just the tip of the iceberg - it's probably happening a lot more than we're reporting but I think by reporting it more people will recognise it.
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