What Are 'COVID Toes' and the Signs and Symptoms to Look For


As health experts and researchers continue to study the coronavirus, new details and symptoms about the virus are being discovered including something called "COVID toes."

Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Massachusetts General Hospital Global Health Dermatology and member of The American Academy of Dermatology tells USA Today the skin condition can appear as pinkish-reddish “pernio-like lesions” that can turn purple over time.

Read: US Surpasses 1 Million Coronavirus Cases

Experts are reportedly not sure why these skin lesions appear on the toes, but theorize it could be linked to inflammation of tissue in the toes, or inflammation of the blood vessel wall, which is called vasculitis. Dr. Freeman also believes it could also be linked to small blood clots forming inside the blood vessels in people who have the coronavirus. Cases of "COVID toes" have appeared in patients who are asymptomatic, as well as people with other symptoms.


Dr. Jason Mendivil, a foot and ankle physician and surgeon, says symptoms maybe include, a "sudden onset increase redness, pain, blistering, itchiness." Additionally, Dr. Ebbing Lautenbach, the chief of infectious disease at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine told USA Today, "They’re typically painful to touch and could have a hot burning sensation."

The majority of patients who developed "COVID toes" have reportedly been young people, in their 20 and 30s, but Dr. Freeman says these patients have faired well while battling the virus. She urges anyone who develops lesions like this to speak with their healthcare provider to determine what course of treatment is needed.

Watch: 'Bachelor' Alum Colton Underwood on His Coronavirus Battle

In related news about the virus and its possible symptoms, the CDC has added six new symptoms to the list of signs that someone could be infected. Chills, headache, sore throat, repeated shaking and chills, muscle pain, and new loss of smell have been included with fever, cough, and shortness of breath as the primary indicators of the virus.

Read: Coronavirus: Possible Dangers of Reopening Too Soon

Stay up to date with resources, tips, advice, and news on coronavirus/COVID-19 from The Doctors.

*Stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.

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