Four Covid-related skin conditions you shouldn't ignore

CORONAVIRUS symptoms can vary from person to person but the most common include a new persistent cough, a high temperature and a loss of taste and smell.

But there are also four skin conditions that could mean you have contracted the virus and experts say you need to be on the look out for them.

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If you have any of the key symptoms outlined by the NHS then you should get a test and isolate.

Due to the detection of various variants in some postcode areas, surge testing has been rolled out and in other areas essential workers can get tests if they have no symptoms before they go to work.

Other common symptoms of the virus include a headache, fatigue and muscle pains.

Research from the Covid Symptom Study App also recently found that for 17 per cent of Covid patients who experienced multiple symptoms after contracting the virus – skin rashes were the first to appear.

The data also found that for 21 per cent of patients, a skin rash was their only symptom.

Previous research by the team also found that 15 per cent of kids who test positive also present with an unusual skin rash.

Writing in The Conversation, experts have revealed the four types of skin rash that you need to watch out for when it comes to detecting Covid-19.

1. Chilblain-like lesions

Senior clinical lecturer in cardiovascular medicine, University of East Anglia, Vassilios Vassiliou and visiting researcher in medicine Subothini Sara Selvendran explained that this condition has also become known as "Covid-toes".

This skin condition will include red, swollen or blistering skin lesions that affect mainly the toes and soles of the feet.

Patients who have this wont usually need treatment and over the course of one or two weeks the lesions will become more discoloured and will flatten.

The experts said: "A substantial number of these lesions have been seen, primarily in adolescents and young adults with no or only mild symptoms of Covid-19.

"They make up the majority of skin issues associated with the virus."

The experts added that it was not yet clear as to why the lesions appeared in people who contract the virus, but said that one explanation is that the virus could cause damage to blood vessels.

"Caused either by the immune response or the virus, leads to cell death and multiple mini blood clots in the toes", they added.

2. Maculopapular rash

People who have a maculopapular rash will have flat and raised areas of discoloured skin.

A previous study took samples of 375 Covid patients in Spain and found that 47 per cent of them had this condition.

The experts said that people who had the rash often had more severe Covid symptoms and were usually middle-aged or elderly.

They added: "They tended to last 7-18 days, appearing 20-36 days after infection.

"A suggested cause is the body’s immune system going into overdrive. In some patients, a hyperinflammatory phase occurs 7-10 days after infection, which leads to tissue damage and, potentially, more severe disease and death."

3. Hives

For people living with Urticaria, hives are a common occurance.

They are raised itchy areas of the skin that can be really uncomfortable for the sufferer.

They will often appear alongside other conditions and are more common in middle aged patients.

Previous studies in China and Italy found that 26 per cent of Covid patients who had skin issues had hives.

The experts said: "Viral infections are a known trigger of hives, as they cause the breakdown of cells and the release of histamine through a cascade of reactions in the immune system."

Drugs used to treat Covid-19 such as corticosteroids and remdesevir can cause side effects in some patients.

The experts said that it was important to note that you could experience hives if being treated with the above drugs.

4. Vesicular lesions

This type of rash usually appear as clear fluid-filled sacs under the skin, similar to those seen in chicken pox.

The experts said that these are less common than Covid toes but highlighted that a recent Spanish study on skin changes in Covid patients found that 9 per cent of patients suffered from vesicular lesions.

They added: "They are thought to be a more specific indication of someone having Covid-19 than those already listed, and so are more useful for diagnosis.

"They appear to present in patients with mild disease around 14 days after infection.

"It’s thought that they’re caused by prolonged inflammation, with antibodies attacking the skin and damaging its layers, resulting in fluid-filled sacs."

If you think you have contracted Covid-19 then its important you get a test and isolate in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

There are various ways you can get a test, including at sites across the country and you can also order one from the NHS if you have symptoms.

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