Dermatologist: ‘COVID toes’ a potential symptom of the new coronavirus

EVANSTON, Ill. (Gray News) - A dermatologist is looking at a link between an inflammatory reaction of the toes and COVID-19.

A teenage patient's foot as pictured on April 6, 2020, three days after the onset of the skin condition being informally called "COVID toes." Notice the dusky hue to the discoloration. (Dr. Amy Paller/Northwestern University)

Northwestern Medicine dermatologist Dr. Amy Paller said she has seen images of about 30 cases of this condition, which has received the informal name of “COVID toes.” The condition has also sometimes appeared in fingers.

Paller is calling for more testing on the condition so doctors can learn more about the link between the potential symptom and COVID-19.
“We don’t know for sure if it’s related to COVID-19, but when it’s so common right now during a pandemic and is occurring in otherwise asymptomatic or mildly affected patients, it seems too much of a coincidence not to be a manifestation of the virus for patients in their teens and 20s,” Paller said.

Paller also believes while the symptom may be more rampant than some realize, “COVID toes” appear to resolve spontaneously. She believes antibody testing could help draw a link between the virus and the skin condition in otherwise healthy children.

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