Why Do Some People Get ‘Covid Toe’ Conditions?


According to a study published in the Guardian, the skin ailment known as Covid toe may be a side effect of the immune system’s response to battling the virus.


The disease manifests as chilblain-like irritation and redness on the hands and feet, which can linger for months at a time. It usually appears after a week to four weeks of infection and can cause swollen toes and fingers, as well as color changes.

Researchers looked at 50 people who had the disorder and 13 people who had comparable chilblains lesions before the pandemic, according to the study, which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Human body Response

They discovered that the body generates an immune response with high amounts of specific autoantibodies, which wrongly target and react with a person’s cells and tissues as well as the invading virus in both types of the disease. 

They also discovered a link between type I interferon and type II interferon, a critical component in the antiviral response.

Covid toes and chilblains are caused by cells that line the blood arteries that supply the affected areas, in addition to the immune system.

Undiagnosed indications

Dr. Charles Cassius, the study’s main author, said the findings provided a better understanding of the illness.

 Chilblain-like lesions‘ epidemiology and clinical aspects have been widely examined and published. Pathogenesis, on the other hand, is little understood. Our research adds to the body of knowledge.”

Concerns were raised in the early months of the pandemic that the so-called Covid toe was one of the undiagnosed indications of infection when patients in various countries reported it while displaying none of the typical symptoms.

Epidemic in Italy

There have been reports of red or purple lesions on the side or sole, as well as on the hands and fingers. The European Journal of Pediatric Dermatology published an article in May 2020 describing an “epidemic” of instances among children and adolescents in Italy. It stated that, unlike other coronavirus-related rashes, it had never been seen before.

“In asymptomatic children and adolescents, we discovered an ‘epidemic‘ of acute and self-healing vasculitic lesions of the hands and feet.” They noted, “These lesions formed a novelty that led us to establish a link with another, considerably more severe novelty, namely Covid-19, which appeared virtually concurrently.”

The Doctors Declare

Dr. Ivan Bristow, a UK podiatrist, concurred that the ailment cured up on its own, comparable to chilblains. He did say, however, that some patients could need to be treated with creams and other medications. “Knowing the cause will aid in the development of new medications to better manage it.”

The Covid toe was found often during the early stages of the pandemic, according to Dr. Veronique Bataille, a consultant dermatologist and spokesman for the British Skin Foundation, but was less common in the current Delta variant wave.

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Source: The Guardian


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