MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The coronavirus continues to evolve and new symptoms are still being linked to the virus– some dermatologic. Purple toes or fingertips are the newest symptoms! The condition is being referred to as “COVID toes.”
Doctors haven’t reported a lot cases in older adults. Instead, like large vessel strokes, “COVID toes” is another coronavirus symptom showing up in younger adults. And it is also showing up in children.
Lesions suddenly appear on one toe, or all of them, or even just somewhere on the top or bottom of your feet. They can begin as bright red, then become purple. Dr. Fred Bodie with USA Health Dermatology says in rare cases, the lesions can even appear on the fingertips.
“They’ll just be sitting at home and they’ll look down and their toes will be purple or a couple of their fingers,” said Dr. Bodie.
He believes the condition is due to inflammation inside the blood vessels because of COVID.
“It’s probably due to microemboli, little blood clots in the teeny tiny vessels in the fingers and the toes and it creates sort of a vasculitis, a purple looking color, and it kind of self goes away,” Dr. Bodie said.
The “COVID toes” lesions can be itchy, and painful, and the patients may only have one or two other symptoms of COVID-19, or no other symptoms.
Dr. Bodie said, “They might have sniffles or sore throat or something and they might not think anything about it because a lot of people have COVID and don’t even know they have it.”
If blisters accompany the purple color, you should be aware that if they pop, those blisters can likely spread coronavirus.
“Chickenpox spread through the blisters, absolutely. Viruses are in that fluid of blisters in chickenpox so I would assume until proven otherwise that it would be infectious,” Dr. Bodie told Cherish Lombard.
Cases of COVID toes are being seen more in larger cities, but Dr. Bodie says that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen closer to home.
He said, “I think a lot of the stuff we just don’t know yet. The whole disease is evolving as we’re getting more and more information about it.”
Dr. Bodie also says it’s important the remember not to panic if your toes or possibly fingertips turn purple. Call your doctor and let them know, and he says you shouldn’t be afraid to go to their office or to a hospital if they tell you to.