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Experts report two new symptoms of Covid-19 that appear on nails few days after the infection

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Kuldeep Singh
Kuldeep is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. He writes about topics such as Apps, how to, tips and tricks, social network and covers the latest story from the ground. He stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. Always ready to review new products. Email: kuldeep (at) revyuh (dot) com

Scientists, in their new study, highlighted two new symptoms of coronavirus that appear on the nails a few days after the infection, providing another indication to asymptomatic patients who don’t know yet that are infected with Covid-19.

As has been written many times, the main signs of COVID-19 infection are fever, cough, fatigue, and loss of taste and smell, while there are some more symptoms skin-related known as COVID NAILS.

A new study led by Vassilios Vassiliou, a lecturer in Cardiovascular Medicine and medical researchers at the University of the South of England along with Nikhil Aggarwal and Subothini Sara Selvendran, found that following a COVID-19 infection, for a small number of patients the fingernails appear discolored or misshapen a few weeks later – a phenomenon often referred to as “COVID nails“.

A symptom is a red crescent pattern that forms a curve over the white area at the base of the nail. This phenomenon appears to precede other symptoms of COVID-19, with patients experiencing it less than two weeks after diagnosis.

“Such patterns are generally rare and so far have not been observed so close to the base of the nails, so the appearance of such a pattern could be an exclusive indication of coronavirus infection,” the experts point out.

The mechanism behind this crescent pattern remains, however, unclear. One possible cause could be damage to the blood vessels associated with the virus itself. 

Alternatively, it may be due to the excessive immune response causing small blood clots and discoloration. 

Importantly, these signs do not appear to be a cause for concern, as patients are otherwise asymptomatic – although it is unclear how long they will remain so, with cases so far reporting from one to four weeks.

In addition, some patients have noticed new horizontal indentations at the base of their fingernails and toenails, known as Beau’s lines, which tend to appear four or more weeks after COVID-19 infection.

Beau lines occur when there is a temporary nail growth disorder due to physical stress, such as an infection, malnutrition, or side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy. 

“While they may be caused by COVID-19, they are certainly not an exclusive symptom,” the researchers said.

As nails grow an average of 2-5mm each month, Beau’s lines tend to become visible four to five weeks after the onset of physical stress – as nails grow, streaks appear. The time of a stressful event can therefore be estimated by examining how far the Beau lines have moved from the base of the nail. There is no specific treatment and they eventually go away on their own when the underlying condition is cured.

The above two are the most common nail marks associated with COVID-19. Researchers, however, have recorded some other unusual data.

For example, a patient’s fingernails loosened and eventually fell out three months after they became infected with the virus. This phenomenon, known as onychomycosis, is thought to occur for similar reasons to the appearance of Beau lines

The patient was not treated for these changes, as healthy nails slowly appeared from below, indicating that the problem would resolve on its own.

Another patient, 122 days after a positive diagnostic test for COVID-19, noticed orange discoloration at the tips of the nails. In this case, too, no treatment was given, but the discoloration was not gone after a month, with the underlying mechanism of this condition remaining unknown.

In a third case, a patient had horizontal white lines on his nails, which did not disappear with pressure and which are known as “Mees’ lines” or “white lines”. They appeared 45 days after the diagnosis of the coronavirus, but they tend to go away on their own with the growth of the nails, so they do not require treatment. The Mees lines are considered to be caused by abnormal production of proteins in nails because of systemic disorders.

Although COVID-19 infection precedes all three of these conditions, we have only a few patients to examine in each case, so it is not yet possible to say if they are actually caused by the disease

the researchers said.

Even in the case of Beau’s lines and the red crescent pattern, we still have a long way to go to confirm a definitive link between these changes and COVID-19 and the mechanisms behind them. So we need a lot more incidents before we can say with certainty that there really is a connection.

According to experts, if there is a causal link, it is important to remember that not all COVID-19 sufferers have such symptoms in their nails and such abnormalities do not necessarily mean that someone is ill.

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