A new study revealed that the skin condition known as “Covid toes”, which is represented in the toes becoming red or purple and swollen as one of the strange symptoms of the Corona virus, is a side effect of the immune system’s response to fighting the coronavirus, according to what the British newspaper “The Guardian” reported.
Symptoms result in swollen fingers and redness in the hands and feet, with the condition sometimes lasting for months at a time. “Covid toes” usually develop within one to four weeks of infection, and can lead to swollen or discolored toes and fingers.
The researchers behind the study, which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology, examined 50 participants with the condition and 13 with chilblains that developed before the epidemic.
They found one mechanism behind both types of conditions, which involves the body generating an immune response with high levels of certain autoantibodies, which mistakenly target and interact with a person’s cells and tissues, as well as the invading virus. They also found interference with type 1 interferon, a protein key in the antiviral response.
In addition to the immune system, the cells lining the blood vessels that feed the affected areas also appear to play an important role in the development of Covid toes and chilblains.
Senior author of the study, Dr. Charles Cassius, said the research provided a deeper understanding of the condition, as the epidemiology and clinical features of the dactylitis-like lesions have been studied and published.
Concerns were raised in the early months of the epidemic that so-called corona fingers were an unrecognized symptom of corona infection, after patients in many countries reported the condition even though, in some cases, they did not show any of the usual symptoms.
Redness of the toes on the side or sole of the foot or on the hands and fingers was described in May 2020, and the European Journal of Pediatric Dermatology reported an “epidemic” of cases among children and adolescents in Italy.
The magazine said that in contrast to the rashes associated with the Corona virus, which had not been observed before, we observed an “epidemic” of acute and self-healing vascular lesions of the hands and feet in asymptomatic children and adolescents.
A UK podiatrist, Dr. Evan Bristow, agreed that for most people, swollen fingers would clear up on their own.
However, he said some people may need treatment with other creams and medications “Confirming the cause will help develop new treatments to manage it more effectively.”
Dr Veronique Patay, a consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation, said that the phenomenon of corona fingers was seen a lot during the early stage of the epidemic, but it was less common in the current delta wave, and added that this may be due to an increase in the number of people being vaccinated or getting Some protection against corona from previous infections.