As more physicians are called to fight COVID-19, new information is emerging regarding the many manifestations of the virus.
In Italy, dermatologists have noticed that rashes are appearing in some patients who are associated with COVID-19. Of these 88 COVID-19 patients treated, 20.5% developed skin manifestations according to the publication, MDedge. Eight of the 18 patients had some early skin signs once they contracted the virus, and the rest noticed them after the disease progressed.
These rashes often presented as red rashes, some with widespread hives and one even masqueraded as chickenpox. Another patient in Thailand had a rash that seemed to be consistent with Dengue fever; however, the patient later tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, many dermatologists have noticed a vascular rash that indicates that the immune response to the virus has blocked small blood vessels in the skin.
Generally speaking, the majority of rashes showed up on the trunk and often cleared up in a few days. Rashes, for the most part, did not itch, and interestingly the rashes showed up different stages of the viral infection. As we learn more about the COVID-19 virus, we are gaining a better understanding of the many different ways it can present in the body.
Should you notice an unusual rash, even if you have no other symptoms, it is important to contact your dermatologist immediately for an evaluation. If you are hesitant to come to the office, please remember to take advantage of telehealth options and contact the office at your earliest convenience.
Until more certain times, stay healthy and safe and don’t forget to wash your hands and wear a mask!
Kristen A. Richards, MD