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  5. Skin Rash: An Emerging Symptom of Covid-19?

As the entire world struggles to survive the ongoing pandemic, experts are continually researching Covid-19 cases to unfold information. While studying cases, skin rashes have emerged as a possible new symptom of Covid-19.

Thus, it is important to know about the kinds of rashes occurring among Covid patients and what to do about them.

Is Skin Rash A Covid-19 Symptom?

The most common and widely known symptoms of covid-19 are fever, dry cough, sore throat, fatigue etc. But recently, a few newly emerging symptoms are being seen too. One of them is rashes on your skin. Researchers observed many covid-19 patients to have skin rashes at the early stage of the disease.

These can occur in almost every part of the body. Many patients experienced rashes on their back and stomach. Few had rashes in the mouth and on their feet. Reports [1] suggest that doctors working closely with covid-19 patients noticed skin rashes as a symptom of covid-19. Of the 88 corona positive patients being treated, 20% developed skin rashes. In 50% of the cases, rashes emerged along with other early signs, while in other cases rashes developed later.

Another report [2] claims that patients in Thailand were mistaken to be suffering from dengue fever as they had open blood vessels, a common skin rash for dengue. Later on, these patients tested positive for covid-19. Also, recent reports state that many covid positive patients have skin rashes like open blood vessels.

Even though many doctors and scientists have confirmed skin rashes as one of the symptoms of covid-19, no specific types of skin rashes were mentioned. This is because, skin rashes due to covid-19 virus can occur in many forms and over different parts of your body.

Kinds Of Rashes Occurring With Covid-19

close up image of kid skin texture suffering severe urticaria and nettle rash

1. Urticaria

Urticaria [3] is itchy red or flesh-toned welts-like rashes that occur on your skin surface. Usually, urticaria emerges due to consumption of certain foods or as a medical reaction. But recently, many covid patients have been found with urticaria on their skin.

You may notice the skin rashes even before you test positive for covid or even after you have overcome the disease. Patients also said that rashes appeared suddenly and felt extremely itchy. Doctors suggest urticaria can occur on any part of the body. It swells up lips and eyelids and can trigger extreme itching even on palms and soles.

Doctors prescribe Antihistamines to treat this symptom. If your lips swell all of a sudden, do check for breathing issues. In case of breathing issues along with skin rashes or any other symptoms of covid, immediately check with a doctor.

common side effect of covid-19 often referred to as covid toe

2. COVID Fingers & Toes

Covid fingers & toes [4] is probably the most prominent and persistent skin rash. Extremely rare before covid, this would only be seen among people with cold spells [5] or people with finger circulation problems. During the covid-19 outbreak, finger and toe rashes have been a more common phenomena than before.

Doctors now associate finger & toe rashes with covid. These rashes are red or purple and more common in young people. They are accompanied by multiple bumps on fingers and toes, which may feel sore and itchy. These appear during viral infections and sometimes even after recovery. When rashes dry off, the outer layer of the skin peels off.

chickenpox disease for boy on his back and sick

3. Erythemato-Papular or Erythemato-Vesicular Rash

While erythemato-papular rashes are red, bumpy rashes on your skin’s surface, erythemato-vesicular rashes look like chickenpox rashes. These are different from urticaria as they stay for days and even weeks. These can appear in almost any part of your body, but are usually seen on the hands and feet.

With plenty of resemblance with prickly heat rashes, in some covid cases, patients have experienced regular bump-like itchy rashes all over the body. This is also usually very itchy. Few patients had the rashes even after recovering from Covid-19.

4. Eyes, Lips & Mouth

Covid 19 can even affect your eyes, lips and mouth. Doctors working for covid patients have noticed that many of them suffer from sore and watery eyes. Sore lips, flaky skin on lips, small rashes on the mouth are rare but unignorable symptoms of covid-19. Your mouth can also feel a bit sore.

What Should You Do About Skin Rashes?

There is no confirmed way to determine whether a skin rash is caused by covid-19 or due to some other underlying disease, unless you have other covid symptoms as well. Until more information is found on skin rashes as a symptom of covid, there is no strong support whether to take a skin rash patient for a covid test or not. There is a high chance of misdiagnosis due to lack of supportive information. That’s why medical experts are taking special care while checking for Covid-19 symptoms.

Hence, if you have skin rashes, it is better to take precautions from the start. Even if your rash is not caused by covid, follow a few steps to treat it at home.

  • Do not scratch the rashes.
  • Hold a cool compress on the rashes.
  • Apply calamine lotion on them.

It is also advised not to ignore any severe rash outbreak especially when you know it can be an early sign of Covid-19. Consult your doctor if you have any other symptoms along with skin rashes. Rashes on fingers and toes need to be taken seriously as they have emerged as a persistent Covid rash.

Wrapping Up

Many reports have proven a strong link between covid and skin rashes. But there is no way to differentiate between a normal rash and a covid rash. Skin rashes can have causes that aren't due to underlying disease. Examples include hot and humid weather, excess sun exposure or scratchy clothes that don't fit. Since nothing can be said just by looking at a rash, it’s extremely essential to get an immediate diagnosis from a medical expert.

This is important because if you are infected with covid, your treatment would be delayed. Also, unknowingly you would be transmitting the virus to your loved ones, who would spread it further. As a responsible citizen and human being, you need to self-isolate and get yourself checked by a healthcare professional.

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