COVID-19 infections manifest in a multitude of different ways and after the initial viral illness, there seem to be a number of debilitating long-term effects that may develop. The skin manifestations are related to the COVID-19 virus damaging small skin blood vessels and very often mimic and be confused with skin allergies.
1) COVID Toes are chilblain-like lesions that develop on the hands and feet that are painful red-purple discoloration with small blisters.
2) Urticaria and hives are red blotches that are raised and itch. The may be small coin-sized lesions that coalesce and form larger plaques which migrate over the body recurring in different areas.
3) Maculopapular eruptions with wide-spread areas of skin covered in a “measles-like” rash with tiny dark red raised lesions.
4) COVID Eyes with conjunctiva redness that persists and usually involves corners of one or both eyes.
5) Hand Dermatitis (Dyshidrotic eczema) persists with skin peeling and multiple micro-blisters on the hands.
6) Mild skin Purpura and Livedo with fine lace-like bruises under the skin that have a red-blue appearance due to blockage of micro blood vessels.
7) Accelerated hair loss (Telogen Effluvium) as an effect of the viral illness, with hair falling out more easily. The hair does grow back after a few weeks.
8) Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome of Children (MIS-C), which is a severe immune response that involves damage to numerous organs including heart and purpura of skin with toxic shock. Thankfully this condition is rare.
If you have concerns about any of these COVID-19 related skin manifestation then please contact your GP or Dermatologist.