COVID-19 ‘Long Haulers' Might Suffer Dermatological Problems That Can be Long Lasting
COVID-19 Long Haulers
: According to new research findings presented at the recently held 29th Congress of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), certain patients with COVID-19 have persistent skin-related symptoms long after their initial infection has cleared.
Such dermatological issues tend to be point to another burden experienced by so-called "long haulers" who get better but don't seem to fully recover from COVID-19.
The study team established an international registry for COVID-19 skin manifestations in April 2020, in collaboration with the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology. Clinicians were contacted in June and August to update COVID-19 laboratory test results and the duration of patients' COVID-19 skin symptoms.
The study team defined long haulers as anyone with skin symptoms of COVID-19 that persisted for at least 60 days.
The researchers evaluated almost 1,000 cases of patients with skin manifestations of COVID-19. Among 224 total suspected cases and 90 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 from 39 countries with information on symptom duration, the median duration of symptoms was 12 days.
It was found that rash-like morbilliform and urticarial eruptions lasted a median of seven days and four days, respectively, for patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19, with a maximum duration of 28 days.
Also papulosquamous eruptions, which are scaly papules and plaques, lasted a median of 20 days in lab-confirmed cases, with one confirmed long hauler eruption lasting 70 days. Pernio/chilblains, or redness and swelling of the feet and hands, commonly known as "COVID toes," lasted a median of 15 days in patients with suspected COVID-19 and 10 days in lab-confirmed cases.
Interestingly, six patients with pernio/chilblains were long haulers with toe symptoms lasting at least 60 days, with two lab-confirmed patients with COVID toes lasting longer than 130 days.
Senior author Dr Esther E. Freeman, MD, Ph.D., director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) told Thailand Medical News, "Our findings reveal a previously unreported subset of patients with long-standing skin symptoms from COVID-19, in particular those with COVID toes. This data adds to our knowledge about the long-term effects of COVID-19 in different organ systems. The skin is potentially a visible window into inflammation that could be going on in the body. We encourage clinicians taking care of patients with COVID-19 to ask about and evaluate any skin symptoms. Health care providers can enter information into our registry to further our understanding of the dermatologic effects of COVID-19."
Thailand Medical News had already reported as early as April that certain strains or variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus can also give rise to skin problems during infection. https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/warning-covid-19-clinical-care-certain-strains-of-sar
‘Recovered’ COVID-19 patients are expected to undergo a wide variety fo chronic medical issues ranging from fatigue, neurological issues including strokes, cognitive deficits, myocarditis, kidney problems, gastrointestinal issues, lung problems and even fertility issues for males.
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