Are your toes swollen and itchy?
You might want to consider getting yourself checked because these are signs that you could have the coronavirus.
Also known as COVID-19, scientists are gradually learning some of the tell tale signs of the deadly virus. Previously, experts identified shortness of breath, dry cough, and fever as among the symptoms.
Now, scientists are discovering other signs as well, including loss of smell, diarrhea, vomiting, and different types of skin issues.
Of late, the latest symptoms have prompted skin doctors to study people’s toes through emailed pictures or video. This symptom has been dubbed ‘COVID toes‘.
The ‘COVID toes’ are similar to chilblains, a skin condition commonly found on the hands and feet of people who’ve spent a long time out in the cold.
While there have been cases of people infected with the virus not displaying any symptoms, toe swelling, however, is still a mystery.
According to AP, these are some of the first symptoms they notice. Others see their toes itchy and swollen after experiencing other common and serious coronavirus symptoms.
While experts are still figuring out what’s causing them, there are theories that these inflammations could be caused by the cold or the virus irritating the blood vessels in the skin. It could also be caused by microscopic blood clots.
It’s unclear if they’re contagious as they require further testing.
How common is it?
In an Italian hospital, 1 in 5 patients reported to have some form of rash or skin symptom. In Spain, some 375 coronavirus patients complained of skin issues ranging from chickenpox-like lesions to hives and swollen toes. In Boston, U.S., some 250 reports were received in March with similar symptoms.
According to Dr. Amy Paller of Northwestern University, the ‘COVID toes’ also show up on children.
Thankfully, these images of the rash have reached medical chat groups on social media, allowing experts to quickly recognize the symptoms.
What to do if you have ‘COVID toes’.
If you have no other symptoms apart from this toe rash, don’t panic. However, it’s still good to get an expert’s opinion via telemedicine first.
Send an image or video of your toes to a doctor. From there, doctors are able to ascertain if you should be tested and isolated.
If you know a loved one who has been displaying such symptoms, let them know immediately.