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Covid-19 Skin Patterns: These are the Different Types of Rashes Dermatologists Think Could Be Signs of Covid

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Doctors around the world are collecting data on what could be largely left out symptoms of Covid: skin conditions ranging from rashes to “pseudo-frostbite.”

17 percent of people with Covid have suffered from a skin rash before appearing of any other symptoms. They can appear anywhere on the body and can lead to poor sleep.

The skin rashes linked with covid include:

  • ‘Prickly heat’
  • Urticaria
  • A look-a-like of pityriasis rosea
  • Vasculitis
  • Chilblains

The Covid Symptom Study found that skin rashes affect nearly 10 percent of people “at some point in their illness”.

While 17 percent of people have a Covid rash in the beginning of the infection, 47 percent of people experience a rash in tandem with other signs of coronavirus.

Other Covid symptoms:

  • A new, continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

For 35 percent of people, a Covid skin rash can appear weeks or months after testing positive for the disease.

Prickly heat

This chickenpox-style rash is the most commonly reported rash; it appears as small itchy red bumps.

These lesions can occur anywhere on the body, but typically begin around the elbows or knees, or the back of the hands and feet.

Sometimes the red bumps can crust over, weep, or form blisters, but do note that this type of rash doesn’t tend to appear on the face.

Urticaria

This hive-type rash is the second most commonly reported Covid rash, which appears suddenly as raised bumps on the skin.

These bumps speedily come and go – usually over a couple of hours – and feel intensely itchy.

People with urticaria are likely to experience extreme itching in the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

This rash can also spread onto the face, causing the lips and eyelids to swell.

A look-a-like of pityriasis rosea

This light-sensitive rash affects the face or neck, and appears as pink or red oval patches of scaly skin.

Vasculitis

This type of rash occurs when the small blood vessels in the skin become inflamed and damaged.

It can be seen in severe cases of Covid that require hospital support.

A rare type of vasculitis is Henoch-Schönlein purpura, which can cause small bruises or reddish-purple spots, explained the NHS.

So-called Covid finger and toes (chilblains) are usually seen in cold weather with people who have existing issues with blood supply.

However, chilblains are occurring more frequently in warm weather among those who have Covid.

Chilblains appear as reddish and purplish bumps on the fingers, toes, and palms of the hands. These lesions tend to be sore, but they don’t itch.

The British Association of Dermatology has collected photos of Covid-19 “skin patterns” to look at for reference.

“Covid rashes can be stubborn and may require prescribed medication,” said the researchers at the Symptom Covid Study.

Data from their research project shows that rashes may also re-emerge within a few days of having a Covid vaccination.

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