SWOLLEN or purple toes could be a symptom of coronavirus and last for months, experts have said. People infected with Covid-19 may end up developing the skin condition, known as ‘Covid toes’.
With scientists suggesting the illness is generally mild but fear the cases they have seen are ‘just the tip of the iceberg’. They say symptoms typically develop within a week to four weeks of getting the virus and results in toes becoming swollen or changing colour.
Research by the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology found some patients had chilblain-like inflammation on their feet, with symptoms said to be mild in the majority of cases, and the feet returning to normal within weeks.
However, they said they have seen cases in which the inflammation has continued for more than 150 days.
Scientists found that about one in six people with ‘Covid toes’ required hospital treatment, while some ‘long Covid’ sufferers symptoms report cases lasting for several months.
Dr Esther Freeman, principal investigator of the International Covid-19 Dermatology Registry said, ‘It seems there is a certain sub-group of patients that, when they get Covid, they develop inflammation in their toes, which turns them red and swollen, and then they eventually turn purple. ‘In most cases, it is self-resolved and it goes away. It is relatively mild. ‘It lasts on average about 15 days. But we have seen patients lasting a month or two months.’
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