It has been one and half years since a virus crippled our lives. Every day there is a new revelation about the nature of the COVID virus, it’s structure, it’s pathology, it’s pathogenesis, the symptoms experienced by people infected with it and the virus’s response to medication.

Virus mutates,it is it’s nature!

But the rapidity of mutations in COVID-19 virus is alarming.

 The symptoms seen in COVID 19 infected patients is changing. It is no longer only fever, cough and shortness of breath. Skin rash has become one of the common presenting symptoms of COVID infection.

Skin rashes/manifestations, may occur before, during and after the infection with SARS-CoV -2.

skin rash be the only symptom of COVI-19 infection

Can skin rash be the only symptom of COVI-19 infection?

Yes, it may be.

Many people are presenting with sudden onset of acute urticaria(hives, reddish raised rashes). People with no prior history of any allergies are presenting with urticarial lesions.

Pityriasis rosea like rash is another common skin rash dermatologists are reporting in COVID-19 infected patients. This rash can precede other symptoms of COVID or may occur later.

Generalised redness and itching with small raised papules/bumps are seen around the  second week in some COVID positive patients.

Vesicular rash, akin to chicken pox eruption is also being reported in quite a percentage of COVID patients showing skin manifestations. The main difference being the rash in COVID infected patients is monomorphic(all lesions are of the same morphology) as opposed to varicella rash. Similarly a generalized eruption of papules, usually skin coloured with no other changes is also being seen.

Will all COVID-19 patients develop skin rash?

The answer is no. We still are unclear as to why some people have skin manifestations. Roughly about 20%( this is a rough estimate of incidence) of the infected individuals present with maculopapular rash, urticarial lesions, pityriasis rosea like rash, vesicular rash, bluish discoloration of toes and fingers (COVID digits) or many a kind of non specific rash.

Skin rash in COVID-19, does that mean the disease is severe?

There is no concrete clinical correlation established between the different kinds of rash observed and its relation to severity of COVID infection.

What is the treatment for skin rash in COVID-19 ?

The line of treatment does not change much. Consult your dermatologist and follow their advice. All the skin manifestations of COVID can be managed effectively.

Does COVID vaccine cause any skin rash as a side effect ?

Generalised maculopapular rash similar to a drug induced rash is being reported in people who received COVID vaccine, usually within a week of vaccine administration. Few patients are coming with a flare up of urticaria(in patients with chronic urticaria) or presenting with urticarial lesions for the first time post vaccination.

All these effects are mild,self limiting and can be managed by your dermatologist.

Do get vaccinated! Vaccination and maintaining COVID protocols until we achieve effective herd immunity seems the only way forward in winning this battle against COVID-19!

Get vaccinated! Mask up! Stay safe!
@tatvaskinclinic we have the best dermatologists for your skin care needs !!

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