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How COVID-19 Affects Skin

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How COVID-19 can affect your skin

While COVID-19 is known for its relentless symptoms like trouble breathing, chest pain, and loss of smell and taste, studies show that your skin can be affected as well, according to Medicalpress and CNN.

A King's London College study showed that a rash was the first symptom for 17% of participants who were positive for COVID-19, while 21% of those cases reported a rash as their only symptom of COVID-19.

"Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it's not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in COVID-19," said Veronique Bataille, M.D. 

A possible reason for certain rashes could be due to blockage or clotting of the blood. The New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical College believes that discoloration and rashes could be a potential sign of these issues. 

A more commonly known symptom of COVID-19 is “COVID toes”, or discoloration of the skin, turning toes and/or hands a red-purple color and can result in itching and even blisters or pustules. This has been seen mainly in children and tends to develop later with the disease. 

Other symptoms can consist of widespread small red bumps, water blisters, chickenpox type rashes, and hives that can manifest in patches or raised bumps.

Symptoms that are far less common include hair loss and rashes caused by an inflammatory syndrome caused by COVID-19, which can be found in children. 

Skin conditions can manifest as early as when you contract COVID-19 to later in the disease's life. 

"However, it is important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease," Bataille said. "So if you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible."

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