Does COVID-19 have an effect on your skin?

If you're on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, you're likely watching for a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. You may also want to check your skin. While less common, the coronavirus can affect your skin. For some people, this may be the only sign of a coronavirus infection.

What are the most common skin manifestations of COVID-19?

The clinical presentation appears varied, though in a study of 171 persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 (ranging from mild to severe disease), the most common skin manifestations reported were: a maculopapular rash (22%), discolored lesions of the fingers and toes (18%), and hives (16%).

Can COVID-19 cause changes in your skin?

Skin changes. Sometimes called COVID toes, this symptom typically lasts about 12 days. COVID-19 also has been reported to cause small, itchy blisters, more commonly appearing before other symptoms and lasting about 10 days. Others might develop hives or a rash with flat and raised lesions.

What are the findings around COVID-19 skin rashes or reactions?

There are reports of skin issues in COVID-19 patients, but these symptoms alone don’t mean you have the virus. Hive-like itchy rashes, pink-reddish spots, or reddish-purple patches on the toes or fingers of COVID-19 patients have mostly been seen in children and young adults. These symptoms seem to follow a mild case of COVID-19. Little is known about why this happens. Based on just this symptom, you would not qualify for testing.

You should watch for symptoms such as fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath and you should self-quarantine, practice social distancing, and hand washing. If you develop more symptoms, notify your provider. Because they care for vulnerable patients, healthcare personnel with symptoms like finger/toe/foot rashes may be tested for COVID even without additional symptoms. Therefore, they should notify their supervisors, Occupational Health Services and their own providers.

Can the coronavirus disease live on my skin?

A: Germs can live on different parts of your body, but the main concern here is your hands. Your hands are what’s most likely to come in contact with germy surfaces and then touch your face, which is a potential path of transmission for the virus. So, while no one is suggesting that anyone take a hiatus from showers, you don’t need to scrub down your whole body multiple times a day like you should your hands.

Update 161: COVID-19 Repeated Infections: The Why and What You Can Do

Does the COVID-19 virus live for long on clothing?

Research suggests that COVID-19 doesn't survive for long on clothing, compared to hard surfaces, and exposing the virus to heat may shorten its life. A study published in found that at room temperature, COVID-19 was detectable on fabric for up to two days, compared to seven days for plastic and metal.

Can the coronavirus be carried on hair/beard?

  • Particulate matter coming from coughs and sneezes could remain on any human surface.
  • If you feel you’ve had someone cough or sneeze near your face and hair, care should be taken to wash there.

Are allergy symptoms associated with COVID-19?


Whilst the main symptoms of COVID-19 are not typically associated with the symptoms of allergies, there are cases where additional symptoms may develop such as hives/rashes, coughing/sneezing, runny nose, pinkeye or blueish toes (COVID toes), that can develop which have some overlap with allergy symptoms.

What are some signs of COVID-19 that need immediate medical attention?

• Trouble breathing
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• New confusion
• Inability to wake or stay awake
• Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

What are the uncommon symptoms of COVID-19?


Some uncommon symptoms found in COVID-19, but reported during acute illness include congestion or runny nose, skin rashes and eye issues (including conjunctivitis, eye pain and light sensitivity).

What are some of the lingering effects of COVID-19?


If you contracted COVID-19, you might still be experiencing this phenomenon long after the acute infection has passed. Long COVID presents as persistent symptoms ranging from mild headaches and general malaise to more serious problems such as extreme fatigue, difficulty concentrating and shortness of breath.

Are long term side effects possible with the COVID-19 vaccine?


Benefits of Vaccination Outweigh the Risks Serious side effects that could cause a long-term health problem are extremely unusual following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination.

Does having an autoimmune disease make me more susceptible to COVID-19?

However, depending on the autoimmune disorder and the immunosuppressive medication you are taking, you may be more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19.

What are COVID-19 toes?

Erythema pernio, known as chilblains, have been frequently reported in younger individuals with mild COVID-19 to the extent that they have earned the moniker “COVID toes.” However, the reason behind their development is not yet apparent.

What is COVID arm?


The term "COVID arm" has been coined to describe a harmless delayed hypersensitivity reaction occurring approximately a week after administration of the novel SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine. It appears as a red, warm, pruritic, indurated, or swollen area in the vicinity of the vaccine site.

Can the Omicron variant cause long term COVID-19 symptoms?


The possibility of long COVID. While omicron may cause less severe symptoms, this may not mean a decreased risk of long-term sickness.

Should I go to the hospital if I have mild COVID-19 symptoms?

Mild COVID-19 cases still can make you feel lousy. But you should be able to rest at home and recover fully without a trip to the hospital.

What are some examples of mild illness of the coronavirus disease?


Mild Illness: Individuals who have any of the various signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, malaise, headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste and smell) but who do not have shortness of breath, dyspnea, or abnormal chest imaging.

Can I have COVID-19 if I have fever?

If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19.

What is the difference between a sinus infection and a COVID-19 infection?

People with COVID-19 and viral sinus infections may share similar symptoms, like congestion, sore throat, or cough. COVID-19 is much more serious than a sinus infection, though, and can be deadly. Both types of infections can be prevented through social distancing, masking, and frequent handwashing. If you have any symptoms that could be due to COVID-19, don’t try to self-diagnose. The best course of action is to get a test and self-isolate until you get a result.

Can sneezing be a symptom of COVID-19?


While sneezing and coughing may not always be linked to a serious illness, they can be symptoms of the flu and COVID-19. Protect others around you by practicing proper coughing and sneezing etiquette.

When do COVID-19 symptoms start appearing?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Can you transmit COVID-19 through hair?


The bottom line: No, COVID-19 is not transmitted through hair or hair follicles. Keep wearing a mask and taking precautions.

What is one of the ways COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person?

When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets or tiny particles called aerosols carry the virus into the air from their nose or mouth. Anyone who is within 6 feet of that person can breathe it into their lungs.

What are the possible modes of transmission of COVID-19?

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected people through infected secretions such as saliva and respiratory secretions or their respiratory droplets, which are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings.

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