For Some, ‘COVID Toes,’ Rashes Can Last for Months

The papulosquamous rashes, which are scaly patches on the skin, lasted a median of 20 days, with one case lasting 70 days, according to the results.

Dr. Michele Green is a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. She said: “These prolonged skin manifestations are the result of the body’s intense inflammatory response to COVID-19.”

The skin is the largest organ in the body and plays a crucial role in regulating body temperature, sensations and immune defenses, she said.

“It is not surprising to me that such a toxic virus, which releases so many cytokines in the body, has a deep reaction and expression on the skin,” Green added.

Besides the visible signs on the skin, COVID toes can also be painful, according to Freeman. Usually the discoloration lasts a long time, but the pain and discomfort lasts for about a week.

“Most of my patients I have cared for have reported that they suffered from swelling of the toes and pain in their toes, usually for about a week, although the lesions themselves could last for several weeks,” he said. Freeman said. “My patients said it was uncomfortable enough that they couldn’t wear shoes.”

For most patients, the disease goes away on its own. But for a small number, it persists.

“Unfortunately, many of our patients who have been in this long-standing group have experienced prolonged discomfort, so some of our patients actually suffered or had discomfort in their feet the entire time they had. Those long haul, ”Freeman said.

Treatment is a challenge, she added, and no protocol exists. “We’re working on this,” Freeman said. “I think all of my patients would like to have an answer to that.”

She is concerned that some patients may have long-term effects from COVID-19.

“There is definitely a risk that some of our patients will have persistent skin issues from COVID-19, and our job is to understand why this is happening and try to figure out how to treat them,” she said. .

The results of the study were presented Thursday at an online meeting of the Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. Research presented at meetings is generally considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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