‘COVID Toes’ may be the only sign of coronavirus in some children
Medics treating coronavirus patients have found that purple or blue toes may be another COVID-19 symptom.
Questions have been raised as the toe lesions have appeared in both asymptomatic and severe cases. However, the so-called ‘COVID toes’ are still not in the list of confirmed coronavirus symptoms.
The mysterious new symptom may be the only sign of COVID-19 amongst youngsters.
According to some experts, ‘COVID toes’, a series of painful bumps on the feet, can be seen mainly in younger patients. One of the specialists who have witnessed the infection in otherwise asymptomatic patients is Dr. Amy Paller. Dr. Paller is the chair of the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In an interview with NBC Chicago, the expert said:
“We don’t know for sure if it’s related to COVID-19, but when it’s so common right now during a pandemic and is occurring in otherwise asymptomatic or mildly affected patients, it seems too much of a coincidence not to be a manifestation of the virus for patients in their teens and 20s.”
As per TooFab, the doctor said that patients who suffer from ‘COVID toes’ are often “without any other sign of viral infection”. Moreover, Dr. Paller describes the lesions as “itchy” and “painful”. They can appear on the top or the bottom of the patient’s foot, or on their toes. The color of the ‘COVID toes’ varies from red to purple.
Experts are still unsure of the exact cause of this mysterious symptom. However, they believe it may be a result of the inflammation caused as part of the response to the virus.
The news of the additional potential sign of coronavirus infection came on April 9th from a press release by the General Council of Official Colleges of Podiatrists in Spain. The press release indicates they have been “registering numerous cases of sick people, mainly children and young people, who had small dermatological lesions on their feet”. In some cases, the ‘COVID toes’ appeared in the absence of other symptoms, while in others, it happened before the appearance of other symptoms, as reported by Health.
Typically, the new symptom doesn’t imply further worsening in the condition of the patients who display it. What’s more, here is evidence suggesting that ‘COVID toes’ occurs when a patient is recovering from the virus. According to Dr. Paller, the young adults who have suffered from the mysterious coronavirus sign didn’t have any serious complications. She explained:
“They seem to resolve after a few weeks. Many have had some mild viral symptoms in the week before and it might be a sign during the ‘convalescent’ healing period when no longer contagious. We won’t understand the association until we can test this more broadly.”
Although experts believe ‘COVID toes’ may be another indicator of coronavirus infection, proving a correlation between the two may be challenging.
Furthermore, Dr. Paller admits that as COVID-19 testing is still limited, they may experience significant difficulties in examining the new symptom.
“We really need to save resources. And we can’t be sending people who don’t have the classic signs for that kind of testing.”
The dermatologist advises parents to remain calm in case they see the symptom on its own, and to photograph and document it. Of course, if they are concerned, they can always contact their pediatrician regarding further steps for diagnosis and treatment.