People are warned to watch out for four Covid-19 skin complaints – with rashes only a sign for one in five people suffering.
Covid-19 has a few symptoms that, by now, you should largely be familiar with.
There is the persisent cough, which should be newly developed, as well as a sudden loss of taste and/or smell, alongside a high fever or a temperature.
But skin conditions are also impacting those battling the deadly bug, which continues to claim over 100 lives a day in England.
21% of patients rashes were their only symptom, reports The Conversation, leading to warnings about skin ailments.
These have been slower to be reported, partly due to the wide variety that have appeared in COVID-19 patients, making it more challenging to establish a consistent correlation.
Chilblain-like lesions are a recognised sequela of covid-19 found to affect younger (mean age 32.5 years in published cases) and often otherwise asymptomatic patients.
Chilblains normally occur as a reaction to cold wet weather, whereas chilblain-like lesions are attributed to inflammatory or embolic microvascular occlusion. Presence of these lesions should prompt testing for covid-19.
According to the BMJ, one patient’s s ymptoms started two days before covid-19 had been diagnosed in her partner. She did not fulfil the criteria for covid-19 testing at the time of presentation. She was otherwise well with no other symptoms.
Data from the COVID Symptom Study shows that characteristic skin rashes and ‘COVID fingers and toes’ should be considered as key diagnostic signs of the disease, and can occur in the absence of any other symptoms.
The COVID Symptom Study, led by researchers from King’s College London and health science company ZOE, asks participants to log their health and any new potential symptoms of COVID-19 on a daily basis. After noticing that a number of participants were reporting unusual skin rashes, the researchers focused on data from around 336,000 regular UK app users.
Researchers discovered that 8.8% of people reporting a positive coronavirus swab test had experienced a skin rash as part of their symptoms, compared with 5.4% of people with a negative test result.
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In a study involving four hospitals in China and Italy, 26% of COVID-19 patients that complained of skin changes presented with hives.
Hives can be different sizes and shapes, and appear anywhere on the body in both adults and children.
The rash is often itchy and sometimes feels like it’s stinging or burning.
They appear to present in patients with mild disease around 14 days after infection, according to a study in Spain.
Researchers found only 9% of patients had these vesicles but experts suggest it is a more specific indication of someone having COVID-19 than those already listed, and thus, potentially more useful.