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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Covid toes may be a side effect of immune system’s response to the virus, study finds

Covid toes were first linked to the coronavirus in December 2020

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
October 6, 2021 8:00:21 pm
Covid toes, what is Covid toes, what causes Covid toes, new study on Covid toes, are Covid toes painful, Covid toes itchiness, Covid toes and Covid infection, Covid-19 infection side effects, indian express newsThe symptoms usually develop within one to four weeks of being infected and can result in fingers and toes becoming swollen or changing colour. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Of the many side-effects and symptoms of Covid-19 infection, ‘Covid toes’ has been one that has perplexed experts the most. It is the reddening of toes, which gives the appearance of blisters.

But Covid toes — that begins with a bright red colouration on the feet, which then gradually turns purple — could essentially be a side effect of the immune system’s response to the virus, a new study has found.

It is understood that the symptoms usually develop within one to four weeks of being infected and can result in fingers and toes becoming swollen or changing colour. While it may seem alarming to many, the symptoms can disappear after a few days; but the condition can last for months.

Covid toes were first linked to the coronavirus in December 2020. Earlier this year, Dr Shuchin Bajaj, founder-director of Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals had explained to indianexpress.com that Covid toes are a recently-recognised symptom and can last anywhere from 10 to 14 days to many months. “Usually, there is a discoloration of the toes and they become red or purplish and there may be some itching, too. But there is no pain; sometimes, there can also be a presentation of pain, which may become so severe that the patient is not able to wear their shoes,” the doctor had said.

Published in the British Journal of Dermatology, researchers behind the latest study looked at 50 participants with Covid toes and 13 with chilblains lesions from before the pandemic. It was found that two parts of the immune system may be responsible for why the symptoms appear when the body fights the virus: one is an antiviral protein called ‘type 1 interferon’ and the other is an antibody that ‘mistakenly’ targets and reacts with a body’s cells and tissues, besides fighting the virus, a Sky News report states.

Senior author of the study, Dr Charles Cassius, has been quoted as saying, “The epidemiology and clinical features of chilblain-like lesions have been extensively studied and published, however, little is known about the pathophysiology involved. Our study provides new insights.”

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📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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