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Can Doctors Tell if You Had COVID-19 By Looking at Your Feet?

You may have heard of some common symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, and loss of smell or taste. But did you know that your feet can also reveal signs of infection? In this article, we will explore how COVID-19 can affect your skin, especially on your feet, and what you should do if you notice any changes.

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus that emerged in late 2019. The virus can infect different organs and tissues in the body, including the skin. According to some studies, up to 20% of COVID-19 patients may develop skin manifestations, ranging from mild to severe.

How Your Feet Can Tell Doctors If You Had COVID-19

One of the most unknown symptoms of COVID-19 is “COVID toes”, a term coined by dermatologists to describe reddish-purple bumps or patches on the toes or fingers. These lesions are similar to chilblains, which are inflammatory skin reactions that occur in cold or damp conditions. However, COVID toes can appear even in warm weather and may last longer than typical chilblains.

COVID toes are thought to be caused by inflammation of the blood vessels in the skin due to the immune response against the virus. They are more common in younger people and children, and often occur in mild or asymptomatic cases of COVID-19. In fact, some experts suggest that COVID toes may be an indicator of a good prognosis, as they rarely develop in critical patients.

COVID toes usually appear within one week before or after a positive COVID-19 test, and heal within 10 days without complications. They may cause itching, pain, or blisters, but some people may not feel any discomfort at all. If you notice any changes in your feet or hands that resemble COVID toes, you should contact your local public health authority for advice on testing and isolation.

Besides COVID toes, there are other skin symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19 infection. These include rashes, hives, blisters, ulcers, and swelling. Some of these symptoms may be related to underlying conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes, such as diabetes or vascular diseases. Therefore, it is important to monitor your skin health and seek medical attention if you have any concerns.

While skin symptoms are not the most common or serious signs of COVID-19 infection, they can provide valuable clues for diagnosis and treatment. By paying attention to your feet and other parts of your body, you can help prevent the spread of the virus and protect yourself and others.

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