People infected with Covid-19 in U.S. develop 'Covid toes', a tell-tale sign one has the virus

Do your toes look weird and have a burning sensation? It could be Covid-19.

Belmont Lay | April 26, 2020, 04:11 AM

People with Covid-19 but are asymptomatic might have a clue to indicate they are positive: Purplish and painful "Covid toes".

Look like frostbite

This condition is being reported on by the press in United States, but there appears to be no mentions of it in Singapore.

Dermatologists in the U.S. looking at feet are trying to find tell-tale signs that a person has the coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.

This was after many people in the U.S., who are asymptomatic, are reporting the presence of painful purplish lesions on their toes that resemble frostbite.

The so-called “Covid toes” are typically painful to touch and could have a hot burning sensation, USA Today reported quoting an American doctor.

Covid toes appear early on

"Covid toes" has so far been seen as a manifestation that occurs early on in the disease.

This means people with Covid-19 have this condition first, before progressing.

For some people, “Covid toes” disappear without showing up with any other symptoms after a week or so.

While some others experience a turn for the worst as they come down with serious respiratory problems.

A registry has been launched in the U.S. to track all the dermatological effects that Covid-19 patients experience to see whether the toe lesions are a true indicator of the infection.

Theories about "Covid toes"

There are three main theories about “Covid toes” currently.

Some experts think the lesions are a sign the virus is causing general inflammation in the body.

Others think the virus is inflaming the walls of the blood vessels, a condition called “vasculitis”.

A third theory is that the lesions are caused by blood clots in vessels in the skin, as blood clots may be a complication of the virus.

Current reports suggest that “Covid toes” more commonly appear in children and young people, but are “not exclusive” to them, U.S. media reported.

However, people with the condition should get both a test to see if they’re infected, as well as an anti-body test to see if they previously had the virus, even if they’re not reporting any other symptoms.

Nonetheless, these frostbite-like symptoms can happen for reasons unrelated to the coronavirus.

This is especially so during the winter or in areas with cold climates.

But the medical community has seen cases of these toe problems, called pernio, in countries such as Spain and Italy that have warmer climates.

This has prompted doctors to consider that the cases might be related to the virus.