Since the memorable month of March in 2020, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, dermatologists locally and internationally have reported seeing an increasing number of cases of the mystery foot and toe rash that seems to be a direct result of COVID-19. Although most reports have been in children and younger patients, adult cases have also increased. So far, the rash deemed “COVID Toes” seems to affect adults who either experienced milder symptoms or did not have any symptoms while testing positive for the virus.
Viruses are resourceful and are always looking for the next healthy host so they can continue living. Staying true to its survival instinct, the COVID Toes rash appears to be an alternative way for the virus to reveal itself. Since the skin is the largest organ of the body and is the first line of defense against outside elements, including infections, this may be why this rash appears because of the virus.
Please remember that just because you have a foot and toe rash does not mean you are carrying the COVID-19 virus. It is essential to be diagnosed by a professional dermatologist.
Scientists Analyze COVID Toe Cases
What has been deemed COVID toes is a visible rash on the toes and feet that turns blue and purple, like frostbite. The skin may feel hot and painful, and some experience blistering which can be pretty painful. Dermatologists worldwide have reported treating these cases as a possible rash associated directly with the COVID-19 virus. Scientists are working with dermatology offices all over the world as they provide data so a closer look can be taken at the repeated and increasing cases and how they relate to the COVID-19 virus. Initially, it is thought to be due to blood flow issues to the capillaries, which take blood to the skin.
In 2021, more than 20% of COVID-19 patients experienced some form of foot and toe rash. Doctors were not surprised because rashes on different areas of the body are quite common when the body is fighting an active virus. As with measles, rashes form and are treatable for the discomfort, and then they go away. If you are experiencing this type of rash, do not worry because all these rashes are treatable by a licensed dermatologist!
Treating COVID Toes
The American Academy of Dermatology is currently collecting data from healthcare workers and doctors to understand better the relationship between this foot and toe rash to COVID-19. The more that is shared and known, the easier it may be to catch the inflammation and treat it before it becomes painful and severe. Sharing information is essential to giving patients the best possible care. Find a professional and licensed dermatologist who has associations in dermatology so you can be sure you are getting the most current treatment options available.
It is best not to assume you have COVID-19 if you develop a foot and toe rash. Just because you develop a rash that matches some of the descriptions listed here, it does not necessarily mean you have COVID Toes or have the active COVID-19 virus or any of its variants. However, the great news is that all skin rashes can be treated, and it is best not to wait. A dermatologist will be able to help determine the source of the rash and prescribe affordable creams and topicals or ingestible medication if the case requires this approach. Because they are skincare specialists and professionally trained, dermatologists are the best first stop when a rash develops. Some seek medical attention from their general doctor, but the doctors often refer patients to a local and experienced dermatologist since they have more knowledge specific to skincare and rashes.
Seek Professional Dermatologist for Rashes
Getting a medical expert diagnosis and care means you do not have to deal with the discomfort or pain of any rashes, and it is possible to get relief quickly. If the skin is blistering, getting to a dermatologist is even more critical because broken blisters can get infected quite easily. As COVID Toes and other rashes tend to be itchy, it is difficult to get them to leave the skin alone and not itch if it does appear on a younger child. Itching and opening blisters are a major cause of skin infections in children. A skin infection is more painful for anyone and can have lasting results, including scarring. Do not wait to call and make an appointment to see a dermatologist who can provide affordable treatments.
If you live in the Atlanta area, contact Buckhead Dermatology and let Dr. Sherrie Straughn take care of your skincare needs. Offering more than 25 years of experience helping clients in the Buckhead area, Dr. Straughn’s experience with all skin types and tones can provide expert solutions for any rashes, including foot and toe rashes.