What is COVID Toe? Causes, Effects And Remedies

| Author: Manoja Kalakanti

The entire world is revolving around the sudden re-emergence of COVID-19 in 2021 and how this virus is affecting our life once again. At present, we are living in a maze and are desperately looking for symptoms of COVID-19, but we often miss out on a very important sign or symptom of detection, which is ‘COVID Toe’. Along with symptoms like dry cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, we often don’t realize that skin rashes should also be included there as it can prove to be an essential sign to detect the presence of COVID-19 in your system.What do you know about COVID Toe?

Along with organs, COVID-19 can largely affect our skin and signal towards the presence of the deadly virus in us. Doctors are of the opinion that patients who have tested positive most likely experience a discoloration or swelling of toes and this can soon turn into a good sign of detection of COVID-19. Also, do not forget to refer to COVID-19 Survival Guide to Improve Immunity and Survive Coronavirus for preparing your body to fight COVID-19.

What is COVID Toe?

With the outbreak of COVID-19, numerous cases are emerging at present by testing positive for the virus of COVID-19 and they indicate a series of severe complications of the disease affecting more than the lungs.What is COVID Toe?According to experts, COVID Toe is a manifestation of ‘sticky blood’ which tends to raise the risk of:

  • Deep vein Thrombosis
  • Heart Attack or Stroke
  • Neurological problems

To be specific, COVID Toe is nothing but a painful, red swollen area of your toe which is at present indicative of the deadly virus. It is suggested that COVID toe may be linked with any dysfunction of our blood vessels as well. There are very few of us who are aware of the fact that COVID Toe can be caused due to the lining of the blood vessels known as Endothelium. There the presence of cells cannot act as a solid barrier to certain substances which can be present there due to the condition of your body.

How Can COVID-19 Affect Your Skin?

The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 creates an adverse effect on our skin apart from organs like lung, heart and other organs. Experts have reported that COVID-19 patients have started showing prior skin disorders like:

  • Rosacea
  • Eczema
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Neurodermatitis

 How Can COVID-19 Affect Your Skin?The prime reason for these skin rashes is detected as the constant usage of masks in this pandemic and the experts are of the opinion that this can increase the skin issues of face acne and Rosacea even more and create discomfort in the patients. Among them, painful skin rashes on your toe are getting noticed in COVID-19 patients at present and it can be a relevant sign of detection of the presence of the deadly virus in your system. In addition to these, they have also confirmed that the excessive use of disinfectant is causing these skin disorders as it tends to increase the dermatitis in COVID-19 patients which can give rise to other health related issues in you.

At What Age Can COVID Toes Develop?

COVID Toe has been researched all around the world by medical experts and they have come to the conclusion that patients who have tested positive are showing symptoms of COVID Toe. Some of the patients have shared their experiences and said that they have discolored and swollen toes which are red and painful. When can COVID Toe Develop?Dermatologists are of the opinion that COVID Toe can appear to people of any age – childrens, teenagers or young adults. It is not always necessary that they have to be weak or unhealthy in appearance, in reality it is common among healthy individuals too. Patients who have mild COVID-19 symptoms like dry cough, fever and muscle aches can experience this skin disorder in the name of COVID Toe as well.

How Do COVID Toes look?

According to medical experts or dermatologists, the skin disorder named COVID Toe will first appear on your toes or fingers in the form of a bright red rash. Then, the rash will start swelling and this will gradually turn into purple discoloration.

Why Does It Happen?

COVID Toe occurs when the coronavirus creates a blockage in your blood vessels and disallows the passage of other substances in your system. A healthy and well structured Endothelium is required to keep the blood vessels open to flow of blood. In addition to this, it also releases substances which can prevent your body from harmful blood clots and inflammation. To be specific, this skin disorder can also lead to heart attacks and strokes due to its involuntary linkage to the formation of fatty plaques in our arteries and so it is our duty to take prior precautions.

What Are The Symptoms Of COVID Toe?

During this pandemic of COVID-19, numerous cases of skin rashes are spreading across the globe. The rashes come in many forms in your toes, fingers and other parts of body like:

  • Tiny red spots
  • Larger flats
  • Raised Lesions

Symptoms Of COVID ToeIn addition to these, some have hive-like appearance while others look like frost-bitten feet; and according to some research, COVID-19 creates skin eruptions in many forms and COVID Toe is one of them. There are many asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 which initially experience discoloration and swelling of feet and hands, along with other symptoms like:

  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Blisters, itch or pain
  • Painful raised bumps
  • Area of rough skin
  • Presence of pus under your skin

According to WHO, the excessive usage of bleach and disinfectant on your toe skin can cause such issues and they recommend to stop the usage immediately as they are highly poisonous if ingested and can cause irritation and massive damage to your skin.COVID Toe is among the many new symptoms of COVID-19, tongue discolouration is another symptom that has caught the attention of the world.

How Long Does COVID Toe Last?

It is hard to state any definite time of recovery for COVID Toe as there are cases which revealed that this skin disorder got resolved unattended or untreated. Sometimes, it lasts for 10 to 14 days whereas in some cases it took over a month to recover.

Is COVID Toe Contagious?

By now, we are all aware of the fact that COVID-19 is contagious but we are still in doubt whether COVID Toe is equally contagious or not. By appearance, COVID Toe sometimes looks like Chilblains, which generally occur due to exposure in cold temperatures and people don’t really take them seriously. These skin rashes occur in people who live in extreme cold temperatures and its symptoms are equivalent to COVID Toe like discoloration, swelling of your skin and burning or itching. So, these similar symptoms of two distinct diseases can cause confusion. How do you deal with it then? How do you affirm which one is contagious and which one is not?

Is COVID Toe Contagious?Many physicians still have doubts whether COVID-19 is causing skin infection by contacting subcutaneous tissues, mucosal surfaces or blood vessels. They even added that transmission is possible and so COVID-19 patients who are showing visible skin rashes should isolate themselves and maintain social distance.

When To See A Doctor?

If you experience discoloration or swelling of your feet and reddening of your toes, then it is important to rush to your doctor as it can be an alarming sign of the presence of COVID-19 in your system.

COVID Toe Symptoms in kids may not be linked with COVID-19?

There are possibilities that COVID Toe symptoms may not always be linked with COVID-19, instead it can be Chilblains. There are chances that a kid who stands barefoot on wet ground or ice may have symptoms of Chilblains and not the virus in such cases. Some are of the opinion that skin lesions or acro-ischemia in kids can be a possible sign of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adolescents and children. But, according to the journal of JAMA Dermatology, skin lesions may not always be linked with this deadly virus and this is definitely good news for us.

What Are The Treatments For COVID Toe?

As skin rashes like COVID Toe are considered a definite part of COVID-19, medical experts are calling for more special treatments to cure such skin diseases as treatments for them are limited at present. To reduce pain and itching, doctors sometimes prescribe hydrocortisone cream to be applied on the affected area.

What Home Remedies/Supplements Can You Opt for?

Mild symptoms of COVID-19 can be treated at home. It may not fully cure the disease but can provide temporary relief to the patients who are experiencing the symptoms like dry cough, sore throat, skin rashes like COVID Toe and others. So, some of the home remedies/supplements are:

  • Always stay hydrated
  • Intake nutritious food
  • Clean your toes/hands with alcohol-based hand wash or gentle soap
  • Take sufficient Vitamin D supplements
  • Intake any form of Vitamin C supplements daily

Taking some of the above supplements can not only help with COVID Toe but also improve overall immunity, which can help fight COVID-19.

Home Remedies/Supplements To Cure COVID ToeMedical experts are of the opinion that COVID-19 patients mostly take 2-6 weeks to recover completely, but there are cases where some of the lingering symptoms stay like dry cough, skin rashes like COVID Toe, and there we need to take sufficient precautions for it. And if you are looking for a home remedy for another common symptom of COVID-19, i.e. trouble in breathing, refer to How Can Proning Help COVID-19 Patients Improve Their Oxygen Level?

What Precautions Should You Take?

Even after recovery from COVID-19, you need to be highly cautious of the lingering symptoms of it and mostly of skin rashes like COVID Toe. Some simple and daily precautions can help you to get rid of the virus in both pre and post COVID-19 situations such as:

  • Never use poisonous bleach or disinfectant to clean your hands/toes
  • Avoid ultraviolet lamps to sanitize your hands/toes
  • Practice social avoidance in case of visible skin rashes
  • Don’t take some else’s prescription drugs to avoid side effects
  • Consult a physician/medical professional before taking supplements

While post-recovery care is crucial, do not forget about preventive measures that could help you fight COVID-19. Refer to Best Indian Diet Plan for Immunity and Weight Loss in 2021, to keep your body and immune system strong.Precautions To Take For COVID ToeFor a speedy recovery, you need to get proper treatment and basic hygiene measures, and if you want to achieve this at home, consult an expert or a physician from the comfort of your home.To know more, you can refer to Symptoms And Home Remedies For COVID-19 Syndrome.


Thus, it can be concluded that viruses don’t always maintain a proper dermotropic status and so there are tendencies that certain skin disorders stay in your system in the form of viruses. This is dangerous as there is a probability that it can get transmitted into other diseases like Black Fungus or Mucormycosis even after recovery.


1. How can someone be infected by COVID-19?

COVID-19 is contagious and so we need to protect ourselves and others from the virus. It is important to learn about the basics of COVID-19 like how to protect yourself.

2. What are some of the symptoms of COVID-19?

Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, loss of smell/taste, fever and others and they can turn into lingering mild symptoms even after recovery.

3. How can someone be infected by COVID-19?

A person can be infected when aerosols or droplets containing the virus are inhaled or come directly into contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth.

4. Can kids get COVID-19?

Children were always considered COVID carriers but not many children showed symptoms during the first wave of the COVID-19.

5. What is the minimum distance to be kept from each other to avoid COVID-19?

It is important to keep a distance of at least 2m from each other and avoid spending time in crowded places or in groups.

6. How long does the virus that causes COVID-19 last on surfaces?

It has been reported that the virus can remain viable for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, up to four hours on copper, and up to 24 hours on cardboard.

7. Can the coronavirus disease be transmitted in hot or humid climates?

COVID-19 virus can be transmitted in all areas, irrespective of any climate. So, it is better to adopt protective measures by frequently cleaning your hands.

8. What are the common symptoms of COVID-19 in children?

Children who are suffering from COVID-19 infection may be asymptomatic or experience mild symptoms like- fever, cough, breathlessness/ shortness of breath, fatigue, myalgia, rhinorrhea, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of smell, and loss of taste.

9. Are children at lower risk of COVID-19 than adults?

Children, under the age of 18 years represent about 8.5% of reported cases, with relatively few deaths compared to other age groups and usually mild disease

10. What are the organs most affected by COVID‐19?

The virus moves down your respiratory tract, blocking the airway which includes organs like mouth, nose, throat, and lungs.

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