Doctors have recently learned that a person’s feet may offer valuable clues about who is infected with the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 tests have come back positive for people with red, purple, or bluish lesions on their feet or toes. These are some facts about “COVID toes” as we understand them right now:

  • Patches of red, purple, or blue skin can appear anywhere on the feet or toes of someone infected with the coronavirus. These lesions may hurt when touched. They sometimes cause a burning or itching sensation.
  • Children and young adults are the most likely to have COVID toes, but other age groups have also reported symptoms.
  • COVID toes may be the first or even the only symptom of a COVID-19 infection. If skin lesions on the feet are a person’s only clue to this viral infection, they need to recognize it. If they are in fact infected with COVID-19, they may be spreading the virus around unknowingly.
  • Experts believe that anyone who develops skin lesions on their feet or toes and is infected with the virus may get a negative test result, as the infection is probably quite new. To avoid a false negative test, it may be advisable to self-quarantine and monitor for other symptoms of COVID-19.

Here’s our takeaway from this breaking news: if you notice a red rash, hives, bumps, unexplained discoloration, burning, or areas of warmth anywhere on your feet or toes, contact board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm, at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center in Fairfax County, VA. Skin lesions on your feet appear for many reasons that aren’t related to COVID-19. However, Dr. Wilhelm may order a COVID-19 test, especially if you are exhibiting other symptoms of the virus, including cough, fever, and shortness of breath. To get tested, call us in Centreville at (703) 996-3000 or contact us online.

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