Dermatologists around the world are keeping an eye out for possible symptoms of novel coronavirus infection, after reports that in some patients, the disease can affect the skin.
Some are calling the phenomenon “COVID toes” or “COVID hands,” according to Dr. Kerri Purdy, president of the Canadian Dermatology Association.
“They’re these painful red and purple bumps that tend to occur at the tips of the toes or on the tops of the feet, or on the tops of the fingers or tips of the fingers,” she said.
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Canadian doctors are accustomed to seeing similar lesions, like chilblains associated with cold weather, she said, but it’s more unusual to see them in warm weather.
“In this particular case, we don’t think it’s related to cold injury,” she said.
“It’s felt to be maybe tiny blockages of the small vessels because we think COVID makes people have increased tendency to blood clots.”
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Other kinds of rashes have been reported in COVID-19 patients too, she said, but it’s too early yet to know how common skin symptoms are with the disease.