Covid Toes: Doctors treat toe lesions linked to coronavirus

Coronavirus

WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– Each day doctors are learning something new about coronavirus. Now, dermatologists are treating lesions on the toes and for many, it’s the first time they learn they have the virus.

The technical term is “acro-ischemia.” The not so technical term: Covid Toes, when inflammation from Covid-19 causes spasms or clotting of blood vessels.

“Most people who are experiencing Covid toes are actually asymptomatic, have no other manifestations of Covid, or they may have very mild disease,” said Dr. Rhonda Klein, Modern Dermatology, Westport.

Westport Dermatologist Rhonda Klein knows a thing or two about asymptomatic patients. She recovered from coronavirus herself. She’s back to seeing patients virtually and treating lesions that are manifesting in younger patients who typically don’t present the usual coughing, fever, and difficulty breathing.

“If you have any of these skin manifestations, you should assume that you had Covid and you should make sure that you quarantine at home for at least two weeks,” said Klein.

For some, these lesions are the first indication they have the disease and testing can be tricky. These patients are usually on the downside of coronavirus, so a swab will test negative. And many antibody tests are not yet approved by the FDA.

“We are stuck in this place where we don’t have great testing for these people with these skin findings,” said Klein.

In terms of treatment…

“For patients that are symptomatic for their Covid toes, we can prescribe topical steroids or other medication to help with that burning sensation,” said Klein.

Higher risk patients may need oral medication. Dr. Klein says compression socks and elevation can help.

If you experience similar symptoms, Klein says to reach out to your dermatologist or primary care physician for advice.

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