Locating COVID-19 on your Skin: 7 Skin Signs to Watch out for
In the initial days of the outbreak, the only signs of COVID-19 were fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
But gradually, as experts began to comprehend the disease, they observed that there were many other signs of COVID-19. A few such symptoms discovered were loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, and headache.
At present, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists only 11 symptoms that may accompany a COVID-19 infection.
According to the CDC, people with following symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
However, one must understand that the list is not comprehensive.
According to the British Journal of Dermatology, there is a significant link between skin rashes and a positive COVID-19 swab test result.
Around 450,387 people who had a positive swab test report were observed over a while. The report showed that 38% of patients reported skin issues.
It is seen that inflammation is one of the primary signs of the disease on the skin.
Dr. Rashmi Shetty addresses a few skin issues associated with the disease that everyone needs to be aware of.
COVID 19 SKIN SIGNS (During and Post COVID)
- Papular and vesicular (chickenpox like lesions)
Itchy red bumpy areas on elbows, knees, back of hands and feet that persist for weeks.
- Pityriasis rosea
Reactivation of HSV 6 virus, a post-viral sequel, Herald patch in the trunk (Red scalp patch)
- Viral exanthem
Fever, cough, malaise, symmetrical red rashes
Bruise-like patches on skin. Purpura causes damage to superficial tiny blood vessels with bleeding into the skin.
- COVID digits
Affects younger people. Characterized by reddish or purplish bumps on fingers and toes, soreness.Scaling present during the recovery phase. It is present until 15 days post covid.
Most common during the initial stages of COVID and is intensely itchy. Characterized by pain and itchy bumps across the skin. However, research shows that it could also come up long after a patient has recovered from the virus.
Dr. Rashmi Shetty says, “This is the most common skin condition found in Indians affected by the disease.”
- Dry lips
A person infected with the COVID-19 infection may develop dry, scaly lips. It could be caused due to the illness or due to dehydration and nutritional deficiency.
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How do you distinguish between COVID and regular skin symptoms?
As researchers are beginning to find more about this disease, skin symptoms occurring during the pandemic should not be taken lightly.
The above symptoms could be due to an allergy or other infection, but Dr. Rashmi Shetty cautions us to be vigilant on the progression of the symptoms.
According to experts, skin symptoms show up in the early stage of the disease before the onset of fever, cough, and other signs of the COVID-19 infection.
Watch out for our next article on hair loss during and post-COVID.
Dr. Rashmi Shetty says,” There is usually a nutritional deficiency during the disease. It could be due to the disease itself or a lack of appetite caused due to stress. So, your body must get adequate Vitamin D, Calcium, Vitamin Magnesium and Zinc. In addition, there is a lot of free radical damage that occurs due to the infection. Hence the body needs essential fatty acids and enough antioxidants to support its fight against the disease.”
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Along with the medicines prescribed, it would help if you had something that safeguards you from inside.
- Ra Vitamin C+– Helps fight free radicals, boosts immunity, stimulates collagen, and reverses signs of aging.
- RA Essential – Set of essential multivitamins, amino acids, fatty acids, micro-nutrients & minerals. It provides nutrition at the cellular level.
- RA Bright– Combines four powerful antioxidants to minimize free radical damage.
- RA Defense– Fortified with traditional ingredients like ginger, turmeric, piperine, milk Thistle, and beta carotene. It reduces inflammation.
If you or anyone close to you are having skin symptoms mentioned above, they should immediately isolate and arrange an appointment with their doctor.
“Your dermatologist can assist you with your skin-related issues by suggesting treatments but stay safe and consult online,” says Dr. Rashmi Shetty.
Credit: Audio notes provided by Dr. Rashmi Shetty
Dr. Rashmi Shetty, a specialist dermatologist, is an international speaker, teacher, and author with over 18 years of aesthetic and clinical dermatology experience.