Scientists believe they have found the reason behind ‘Covid-Toe’, a side effect developed in some coronavirus victims.
Findings from a new study have shown that the side effect of toe swelling is part of the body’s immune response when it fights the coronavirus.
A covid-toe, a type of chilblain sore, is characterized by red or purple-looking skin that can be painful and pus-filled in some recorded cases. The side effects, which can be seen on the fingers as well as the toes, have been seen with “increasing frequency” in children and young adults during the pandemic, the researchers say.
Researchers believe a British Journal of Dermatology study may help patients cope with symptoms.
The research, including 50 patients with suspected Covid-toe and 13 patients with similar chilblain lesions associated with Covid, found that two parts of the body’s immune system were involved in the development of side effects.
One is an anti-viral protein called type 1 interferon that fights off invading cells, and the other is an antibody that attacks a person’s own cells and tissues – not just the invading virus.
The cells inside small blood vessels, known as capillaries, that line the affected areas are also involved, according to the researchers. Researchers from the University of Paris found that vascular damage caused by the virus may be a key mechanism to explain the red/purple color on the back of the toes.
UK podiatrist Dr Evan Bristow said COVID-toe, similar to chilblain sores seen in people who have been in a cold for too long or have poor circulation, usually disappear on their own. However, in some cases additional medications may be needed for treatment such as creams.
According to Dr Veronique Batale, a consultant dermatologist and spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation, the Covid-toe may be decreasing as more people have now been vaccinated against the virus than ever before in the pandemic.
“The current delta wave has not generated as much matter [of Covid-toes]. Treatment varies depending on the symptoms and severity of the rash. It usually self-resolves but can last for several weeks and may appear after acute infection or even in previously asymptomatic individuals, so sometimes a link with COVID infection is not made,” Dr Batale he said.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /