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The Sars-Cov-2 virus can manifest in very different ways, one of which is skin lesions. These may appear differently depending on the patient and the seriousness of the illness. In particular, they were described during the first wave, in patients hospitalised due to COVID-19.
The most frequent skin reaction, which was observed in practically 50% of patients admitted to hospital due to COVID during the first wave, was exanthema, a rash or generalised erythema. In other words, skin manifestations in the form of red spots that may partially or totally affect the skin, and which may cause itching.
Another symptom presented by some COVID patients was chilblains. These are red or purple lesions which are often painful, and primarily appear on the fingers and toes. They are less frequent than exanthema, but because they are more noticeable and bothersome, they are one of the better-known symptoms. They occur in approximately 20% of patients.
Some people with COVID-19 have also presented urticaria in the form of generalised wheals or hives. They appear on different parts of the body and, like any other kind of urticaria, disappear in less than 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the appearance of vesicles, a type of very small blister, has also been observed in some patients. These are quite typical in certain viral infections. These lesions were less frequent, only being described in 9% of patients.
Finally, some patients have presented necrosis or Livedo reticularis, lesions caused by the inflammation of the skin’s most superficial veins. However, this symptom has been observed less frequently than the previous ones (6%).
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Substantiated information by:
Antoni TrillaSenior Consultant Head of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology
Eduard Vieta PascualPsychiatristPsychiatry and Psychology Head of Department
Gema Maria Lledó IbáñezMédico internistaServicio de enfermedades autoinmunes
Jacobo Sellarés TorresPulmonologistPneumology Department
Josep M. Miró Meda
Josep Maria PeriClinical psychologist
Maica RubinatSpecialist in Sports MedicineGeneral Secretary for Sport and Physical Activity of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Mariona ViolanSpecialist in Sports MedicineGeneral Secretary for Sport and Physical Activity of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Published: 12 March 2020
Updated: 12 March 2020
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