New COVID-19 symptoms are being discovered daily, and experts now believe that skin rashes might also be a symptom of the rampaging virus.
One small study in Italy found 20 percent of COVID-19 patients had skin problems, while anecdotal evidence from other countries indicates a link between dermatological problems and the virus.
In March, a research letter published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology was the first to detail how COVID-19 may affect the skin.
The researchers studied 88 COVID-19 patients at Lecco Hospital, in Italy’s Lombardy region, and found 18 (20.4 percent) had skin issues. Of the total, eight patients developed skin complaints when their COVID-19 symptoms started, and 10 after they were hospitalized. 14 patients had a red rash, three had hives, and one had chickenpox-like blisters. The torso was the most affected area, the team said, and the lesions usually healed in a few days. These issues did not seem to correspond to how sick the patients were, according to the letter.
However, they stressed: “Indisputably we need more papers to confirm and better understand skin involvement in COVID-19.”
In the wake of such observations, both the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and Spain’s General Council of Official Colleges of Podiatrists have opened registries for health professionals to log skin complaints which could be related to COVID-19. The latter said in a statement its members had reported COVID-19 patients, particularly children and young people, had small lesions on their feet.