Research by the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology has shown that some patients have had a chilblain-like inflammation on their feet, sometimes lasting for months.
Scientists have said that people infected with the corona virus may end up developing a skin symptom known as covid toes.
It can also be associated with other “long covid” symptoms
The symptoms should be mild in the majority of cases and the feet should return to normal within weeks.
The disease typically develops within one to four weeks after infection and can lead to swelling or discoloration of the toes.
Scientists have also found that about one in six people need hospital treatment, while some of those with “long covid” symptoms report cases that last several months.
Dr. Esther Freeman, lead investigator of the International Covid 19 Dermatology Registry, the collaboration between the two research institutions, told the PA News Agency: “It seems that there is a specific subset of patients who, when given Covid, develop inflammation in their toes that makes them red and swollen, and then eventually turn purple.
“It lasts on average about 15 days. But we have also seen patients who lasted one or two months”.
“In most cases, the inflammation resolves itself and disappears. It is relatively mild.
She added: “It is very surprising when you go beyond the 60-day mark – because it is not the case that patients dissolve on day 70.
“It’s the fact that some of our patients are now over 150 days old – these are patients with red or purple or swollen toes that have been there for many months.
About half of the patients on the registry are said to have Covid toes, and about 16% of patients have had to be hospitalized as a result, according to the figures.
she said: “We are beginning to see long Covid toes in other organ systems, this is the first time we are realizing that this can also happen in the skin.
Dr Freeman said that identifying people with Covid toe symptoms – including some in the UK – will help scientists understand more about coronavirus-related symptoms elsewhere in the body.
“We don’t really know the answer yet.
“The skin can be seen as a window to the rest of the body because it’s an inflammation that can be seen – and that may indicate inflammation elsewhere.
“I think this raises a lot of questions about what kind of inflammation it is – is there inflammation elsewhere in the body?