Are Your Skin Rashes A Symptom of Coronavirus?

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

At the moment, the majority of the global population is aware of the conventional symptoms of coronavirus infection such as coughing, sneezing, body pains, shortness of breath, and fatigue. However, reports of new cases from around the world have shown that there are also a number of other signs which may not be as common including rashes on the skin.

According to the COVID Symptom Study led by a collaborative team of researchers from the health sciences company ZOE and King’s College London nearly 8.8 percent of the people who test positive for the coronavirus report experiencing skin rashes.

Additionally, 8.2 percent of the people who had all the known signs of the infection but did not get tested also had skin-related symptoms. To investigate further on the issue of skin rashes as a sign of coronavirus infection, a separate study was then set up.

In this study, the researcher sourced information, images, and medical reports of nearly twelve thousand people who either tested positive for the infection or were suspected to have it. After analyzing the data, it was found that nearly seventeen percent of all participants who had a confirmed diagnosis had skin rashes.

Secondly, twenty-one percent of the people who had rashes and tested positive for the infection also reported the skin rashes to be their first and only symptom of the virus.

Although rashes on the skin are not considered to be a primary sign of the infection, the findings of this study show that there may be more common than previously assumed. For some, it may be the only sign to appear, which is why it is important to make people more aware of it.

Read also: Should You Wear a Double Mask for Coronavirus?

Since the majority is unaware of skin rashes during the infection, they may think they do not have the infection and carry on with their normal everyday routines. As a result, they may end up transmitting the virus to other people as well as develop severe symptoms of the infection due to not getting medical attention on time.

Therefore, upon developing unusual rashes on the skin without any obvious reason, try to get tested for the virus and visit a doctor as soon as possible. Keep in mind that the infection is associated with different types of rashes.

For instance, urticaria or hives on the skin appear in many cases of the coronavirus infection. Urticaria can appear on any part of the body and can cause discomfort due to intense itching. Usually, they appear early in the infection and go away but can return and stay for a very long time after recovery.

Along with hives, erythemato-vesicular or erythemato-papular rashes may also develop due to the infection. These are small tiny bumps that typically develop on the back of the feet and hands as well as the knees or elbows. While these may not go away for weeks, they do not cause itching.

Lastly, the most common skin rashes in coronavirus cases are chilblains. Also known as COVID-19 fingers or toes, these are red or purple colored rashes on the hands and feet. While they are not itchy, they are sore and may cause mild discomfort. Since chilblains are specific to coronavirus, they can be easily identified as an indication of the infection.


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Abeera I. Kazmi

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