Written by Leigh Sutton, M.D. –
I think I have “COVID toes.” Now what?
Skin manifestations of SARS-COV-2 are being widely reported. These COVID associated skin findings range from nonspecific hives to the more specific “COVID toes” that were initially reported in Europe and now in the United States.
What are “COVID toes”?
“COVID toes” are reddish or purplish lesions on toes, heels, or fingers. They can occur in children or adults. Many individuals report no other symptoms but were exposed to individuals with PCR-positive COVID weeks prior. These reports of “COVID toes” have led dermatologists to believe (although might change as data is coming in) that these lesions are a late finding of COVID. Since it is thought to be a late finding, when these individuals are tested, their test is often negative.
What to do if you suspect “COVID toes”?
We recommend making a Telederm appointment to be evaluated. Individuals will need testing for COVID to identify if they are currently or have recently been infected. These skin findings on the toes in younger individuals are associated with a benign course. It’s association of COVID disease severity in older individuals in unknown.
It is recommended that these individuals isolate for two weeks. Mild cases can be treated with observation and a topical medication. For more severe cases, anticoagulation might be needed.
Images via International Federation of Podiatrists – Francesca Baisi and Laura D’Aloisio.