the rare symptom that affects hands and feet; understand –

Scientists say they have discovered why some people who contract covid-19 develop chilblain-like lesions on their toes and even hands.

The so-called ‘covid fingers’ seem to be the result of the action of the immune system itself that attacks the individual’s body after infection.

Researchers claim to have identified the parts of our bodies involved in this process.

The findings, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, may help with treatments to alleviate symptoms.

What are ‘covid fingers’?

BBC News Brazil

'Covid fingers': the rare symptom that affects hands and feet
Michelle Roberts – BBC

‘Covid fingers’: the rare symptom that affects hands and feet

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Scientists say they have discovered why some people who contract covid-19 develop chilblain-like lesions on their toes and even hands.

The so-called ‘covid fingers’ seem to be the result of the action of the immune system itself that attacks the individual’s body after infection.

Researchers claim to have identified the parts of our bodies involved in this process.

The findings, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, may help with treatments to alleviate symptoms.

What are ‘covid fingers’?

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‘Covid fingers’ can happen at any age, but it most commonly affects children and teenagers.

For some people the reaction is painless, but for others the rash can cause extreme pain and itching, accompanied by blisters and swelling.

Scotswoman Sofia, who is 13, could barely walk or wear shoes when she developed ‘covid fingers’ earlier this year.

In an interview with the BBC, she told how, during the summer, she came to depend on a wheelchair for longer walks.

Affected skin—usually the toes, but sometimes the fingers—may be red or purple in color. Some people develop painful raised bumps or areas of rough skin. There may also be pus.

The condition can last for weeks or even months.

Often, people with ‘covid fingers’ do not have any of the classic covid-19 symptoms, such as persistent cough, fever, and loss or change in smell or taste.

Why does it happen?

The study’s latest findings, based on blood and skin tests, suggest that two parts of the immune system may be at work.

Both involve mechanisms the body uses to fight the coronavirus.

One is an antiviral protein called interferon type 1, and the other is a type of antibody that mistakenly attacks a person’s own cells and tissues, not just the invading virus.

Cells lining the small blood vessels that supply the affected areas are also involved, say researchers at the University of Paris, France.

Scientists studied 50 people with suspected ‘covid fingers’ in the spring of 2020, and 13 others with similar chilblains that were unrelated to new coronavirus infections because they occurred long before the onset of the pandemic.

They hope the findings will help patients and doctors better understand the condition.

Dr. Ivan Bristow says that for most, the lesions usually go away on their own, like the common chilblains during cold spells and in people with circulation problems.

But some may need treatment with creams and other medications.

“Confirming the cause will help to develop new treatments to manage it more effectively,” he says.

Dermatologist Veronique Bataille, a spokeswoman for the NGO British Skin Foundation, says ‘covid fingers’ were seen very often during the early phase of the pandemic, but the condition became less common during infections caused by the Delta variant.

The likely explanation for this is more people being vaccinated or having some protection against covid because of past infections.

“Having this condition after being vaccinated is much rarer,” she says.

Covid-related skin problems can appear shortly after the acute infection and in people who don’t have other symptoms, so association with the virus sometimes doesn’t always happen, Bataille adds.