BOSTON (CBS) — A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital shows that some coronavirus patients have persistent skin problems months after their initial infection. Researchers looked at nearly 1,000 patients with skin issues and said the data emphasizes the long-term effects the virus can have on the body.
Skin problems are just one of the challenges faced by COVID-19 “long haulers,” who seem unable to fully recover from the virus.
Redness and swelling of the hands and feet – popularly referred to as “COVID toes,” typically lasted about 15 days, but researchers found that six long haulers had toe symptoms lasting more than 60 days. Two confirmed coronavirus patients had COVID toes for over 130 days, according to the study.
“Our findings reveal a previously unreported subset of patients with long-standing skin symptoms from COVID-19, in particular those with COVID toes. This data adds to our knowledge about the long-term effects of COVID-19 in different organ systems,” said study author Dr. Esther E. Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at MGH. “The skin is potentially a visible window into inflammation that could be going on in the body.”
Freeman is encouraging doctors to ask coronavirus patients about any skin problems.