"COVID feet" indicative of coronavirus for children without symptoms?
Following the emergence of a mysterious new skin condition causing purple discoloration of the toes in several countries, dermatologists wonder if this symptom, which primarily affects children and adolescents, is related to COVID-19.
Fever, fatigue, cough, sore throat, headache, shortness of breath; They are the well-known symptoms of Covid-19, a disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. As the pandemic progressed, specialists added to this list the sudden loss of smell without nasal obstruction and the disappearance of taste in some patients.
Recently, the National Union of Dermatologists-Venerologists also warned about the fact that the infection could also be manifested by skin lesions: acrosyndromes (appearance of pseudo-freezing of the extremities), the appearance of persistent, sometimes painful redness and injuries transient urticaria.
A previously unknown aspect of the disease, which has led doctors to discover other possible symptoms in this area. An association of Spanish dermatologists, the General Council of Official Colleges of Podiatrists (a professional specialized in the treatment of foot diseases), decided to open a registry of possible cases of COVID-19 after having noticed many cases of sick people, especially in children. and adolescents, who presented dermatological lesions on the feet. These are purple (freeze-like) lesions that appear around the toes and heal in a few weeks without leaving marks.
"Many cases are observed in different countries: Italy, France, Spain. It is a curious discovery that has begun to spread in the field of health, among dermatologists and podiatrists: the same symptoms are increasingly frequent. Most are detected in patients with COVID -19, especially children and adolescents, although some cases have also been detected in adults, "said the association, which published an article to announce this discovery. If this announcement is to be confirmed by official clinical studies, it urges its members to "remain vigilant as this may be a COVID-19 detection signal that may help prevent the spread."
However, the Council wishes to reassure parents and children alike, "taking into account the benign nature of the injuries." If this particular clinical sign called "COVID toes" appears, the association recommends monitoring for other symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, such as cough, fever, and respiratory distress. But to avoid "unfounded scaremongering," he invites a doctor to be approached to ask for a PCR-type evaluation. This diagnostic test is used to detect the presence of viral genetic material in samples collected from the nose or throat and reveals an infection in progress at the time of sampling.
The association also remembers that it is possible to make a diagnosis by telemedicine: when parents detect this sign, they must send photographs to a doctor. If the child has this unique dermatological symptom, he does not recommend going to health centers or hospitals to avoid any possible spread of the virus.
"When parents detect these cases, the child must be quarantined, isolated, and a topical corticosteroid can be applied and a temperature control performed, always with the reassurance that these are benign lesions with favorable progression, but acting with caution as a possible asymptomatic carrier, "she says.
In the United States, Dr. Amy Paller of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine also claims to have witnessed the onset of this symptom that can cause burns to the feet. "We do not know if this is related to COVID-19, but since this condition is common at this time, during a pandemic, and occurs in asymptomatic or slightly affected patients, this does not seem to be a coincidence," says the specialist, for whom it would be a mild inflammatory reaction of the body against the virus.
In the absence of available large-scale PCR tests, it would be necessary to wait for these patients to pass the antibody tests to determine whether they were ill or not.