Reports are beginning to emerge that COVID-19-positive patients sometimes experience different kinds of rashes on their bodies. It turns out that “COVID toes” are indeed a thing, but they’re not the only skin symptom you may experience if you’re carrying the virus, and rashes may appear even after your infection has cleared.
James Bradley, a board-certified plastic surgeon at Northwell Health, has been working directly with hospitalized COVID-positive patients. He has seen a wide range of skin symptoms firsthand, usually in one area of the body.
“We have seen almost a hive-like rash on the trunk, and I did see one 6-year-old who had it around the belly button and back areas,” he said. “It’s pinkish, raised and itchy. I’ve seen other patients that it’s more like an eruption of small red bumps, which we’ve seen mostly in patients who are admitted with more serious infections going on. It’s hard for us to know if this is a viral manifestation or an immune response.”
“Hive-like rashes, itchy or not, are the most common. Blotchy, red, migrating spots have also been noted along with areas that look like inflamed eczema, seborrheic dermatitis or perioral dermatitis.”
Of course, COVID-19 is not the first virus to cause a rash — think chickenpox, measles, and hand, foot and mouth disease. But unlike these viral illnesses, not every person who is infected with COVID-19 will develop a telltale sign on their skin.