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Dermatologists link skin issues to COVID-19

Coronavirus patients could suffer from one of five common skincare issues, ranging from pustules and blisters, to flat or raised red bumps, according to a study by Spanish researchers.

Published in the British Journal of Dermatology, the study identified the following five common skin manifestations in those suffering with COVID-19: acral areas of erythema-oedema or pustules (pseudo-chilblain); vesicular eruptions; urticarial lesions; other maculopapules; and livedo or necrosis.

The Spanish Academy of Dermatology conducted the study in which four dermatologists reviewed images of unexplained skin eruptions in 120 patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and then a consensus was reached. These patterns were then applied to the rest of the images, consisting of 375 patients, and further refined into five broader conditions, by which nearly all patients could be classified

Amanda Pauley of Professional Beauty UK reports: “According to the study, just under a fifth (19%) of cases presented with pseudo-chilblain symptoms, commonly found on the hands and feet, and were associated with younger patients, lasting for a mean of 12.7 days. Just under a third (32%) suffered from pain and 30% itching.

“Other vesicular eruptions (i.e. small blisters) were seen in 9% of those studied, which were associated with middle-aged patients and lasting for a mean of 10.4 days. Itching was a common symptom with more than half (68%) of patients, the report found.

“Urticarial lesions – commonly interpreted as nettle rash or wheals, which show as pink or white raised areas of skin – were present in 19% of patients, and other maculopapules (small, flat and raised red bumps, usually discovered around hair follicles) in just under half (47%), which generally lasted for a shorter period of time – 6.8 mean days for urticarial and 8.6 for maculopapular.

“These were usually associated with more severe Covid-19 cases. This group had a 2% mortality in the sample, and 92% of patients experienced itching for utriculiform lesions and 57% for maculopapular.

“Livedo or necrosis was only present in 6% of cases and associated with older patients with more severe diseases. However, skin manifestations associated with COVID-19 were more variable in this group, including transient livedo, with some patients not requiring hospitalisation.”

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