Covid: Professor shares his ‘painful’ hand symptom appearing ‘many weeks’ after infection

Omicron sub-variant discussed by infectious disease expert

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According to the latest ZOE Health Study estimates, there were 131,080 new symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on August 6. The ZOE Health Study has been pooling insights from millions of users to its app throughout the pandemic. Co-founder and lead scientist of the study, Tim Spector, has even provided his own account of symptomatic Covid.

The professor has taken to Twitter to share his “post Covid rashes”.

The professor posted a picture of his hand alongside the following caption: “Post Covid rashes appearing many Weeks after Infection still causing diagnòstic confusion.

“Usually painful and crusty and you feel otherwise well.”

Professor Spector’s followers were quick to offer their support and share their own experiences of post-Covid skin rashes.

One user wrote: I had that after my first vaccine for a short while. Went after about 3 weeks. Had it again after covid… 7 weeks on and I’m still getting it.”

Skin rashes – how common is it?

Data from millions of ZOE Health Study app contributors has shown that changes to the skin, fingers and toes can be symptoms of Covid.

According to the ZOE scientists, Covid rashes are usually itchy and this may lead to poor sleep.

Some people with rashes also experience sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) light, getting red patches on their face after being outside for a short period of time.

According to the ZOE team, rashes associated with COVID-19 fall into these categories:

  • “Prickly heat” or chickenpox-type rash: This is the most commonly reported rash and it appears as small areas of itchy red bumps. It can occur anywhere on the body, usually starting around the elbows or knees as well as the back of the hands and feet. It can sometimes be crusty, weepy or form blisters and does not tend to affect the face.
  • Hive-type rash (urticaria): This is the second most commonly reported rash and appears suddenly as raised bumps on the skin which come and go quite quickly over hours. It can involve any part of the body, including the face. This rash is extremely itchy and often starts with intense itching of the palms or soles, and can cause swelling of the lips and eyelids.

“There are other, rarer, rashes associated with COVID-19 including Pityriasis Rosea-like, light-sensitive rashes affecting the face or neck,” explain the ZOE team.

They continued: “Vasculitis rashes, when small blood vessels in the skin become damaged, are also seen in severe cases of COVID-19 that need hospital support.”

It’s not clear exactly what causes rashes in COVID-19, but it may be related to the immune response to the virus.

ZOE data collected during earlier waves shows that some of the least common symptoms of COVID-19 included characteristic skin rashes, “Covid fingers and toes” as well as other skin changes.

These affected around one in 10 people.

Luckily, skin rashes are now a rare symptom of COVID-19.

However, ZOE past data has shown that Covid rashes can be stubborn and may require prescribed medication.

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