Coronavirus: Skin rashes emerge as possible symptom of coronavirus, dermatologists say

The skin-rash symptoms range from hives to measles-like rashes to a condition resembling frostbite.

By Jory Rand

LOS ANGELES — Certain skin rashes are emerging as possible symptoms of COVID-19, prompting additional research by some doctors and guidance by the American Academy of Dermatology.

“It just was so painful,” said Jessica, a Los Angeles woman who contracted the novel coronavius, describing painful red irritation on her feet. ABC7 Los Angeles identified the woman only by her first name to maintain her privacy.

Jessica developed a cough and fever, but later exhibited other symptoms that have not been widely associated with the virus.

“I looked down, I was getting in the shower, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, my toe is turning blue,” she recalled. “I felt like I had really bad blisters on it.”

When she tried to lightly scratch an itch, her blood vessels ruptured.

Jessica’s dermatologist, Dr. Shirley Chi, was stumped — until she began examining research from overseas.

“When I first saw this mysterious rash, I just didn’t know what to make of it,” Chi said. “In northern Italy there was a study that showed that out of 148 patients at this hospital — none of which had gotten prior medication — one in five had a rash associated with their condition, COVID-19.”

The American Academy of Dermatology has issued guidance regarding several different types of rashes that have been connected with COVID-19.

The symptoms range from hives to measles-like rashes to a condition resembling frostbite.

Chi emphasized the importance of individual patients contacting their doctor for treatment.

“That’s why the American Academy of Dermatology is putting together a registry,” and that’s why it’s important to contact your doctor if you have symptoms like this.”

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