Can a skin rash be a symptom of a coronavirus?

While the us Centers for disease control has added six new COVID-19 symptoms to previously known ones, doctors around the world are reporting even stranger manifestations of a new coronavirus infection. It turns out that SARS is not all that an infected person can face. According to the Spanish El Pais, a team of scientists from the Academy of dermatology and venereology (AEDV) found a link between the severe course of COVID-19 and dermatological complications. Moreover, according to data from Italy, one in five people hospitalized with COVID-19 may develop a rash or have skin changes.

Coronavirus and skin
In some cases, a rash can potentially be the first or only sign of infection. We remind you that according to who, the main symptoms of coronavirus are dry and prolonged cough, as well as high fever, sore throat and diarrhea. Doctors also note anosmia – the inability to smell and taste and a sore throat. However, up to eight out of ten infected people do not experience any symptoms at all, and as the virus spreads, new, often multiple symptoms occur.

So, recently, cases of skin rashes among infected COVID-19 have become more frequent. The reason for their manifestation, scientists do not yet understand, but it is believed that the rash may be a side effect of the immune system, which tries to take the infection under control. Here's what Veronica Bataille, a consultant dermatologist with the UK's National health service (NHS), told the Daily Mail):

I've seen quite a few patients who don't suffer from eczema or allergies who suddenly have a strange rash. A couple of days later, the typical symptoms of COVID-19 appeared. However, in some patients, the rash is the only symptom.

Rash with coronavirus
A study of 88 infected patients at the Lecco hospital in Lombardy, one of the most affected Italian regions, found that 20% of them had skin changes. At the same time, none of them took medications that could cause such a reaction. Eight of the 18 patients who noticed changes in their skin reported them before other symptoms appeared. In some infected people, doctors found red spots on the toes, so-called “coronavirus fingers”. I wrote more in the previous article.

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. So if a person feels bad and the lungs are affected, it is not surprising that the skin reacts to the infection. In fact, a rash is common for any virus, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. However, different patients have different rashes.

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As scientists from the Academy of dermatology and venereology (AEDV) write in their work published in The British Journal of Dermatology, over the course of two weeks, information was collected on 375 subjects, with a confirmed COVID-19, who had concomitant skin changes (which appear simultaneously) without any known cause. In addition to collecting information about their health status, each case was photographed. Below are five different types of rashes, according to AEDV:

Pineal rash on the legs and hands
This type of rash was observed in 19% of cases in younger patients at late stages of COVID-19 development. The rashes were observed for almost 13 days and were associated, experts believe, with a less severe course of coronavirus infection.

Vesicular rashes


Herpetic type rashes were observed in 9% of cases and were associated with a medium-severe course of the disease. Today, such rashes are increasingly common in middle-aged patients.


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