Dermatologists warn that Covid-19 patients may present skin changes similar to chilblains
To date, several have been described skin alterations associated with Covid-19 infection, among them rashes similar to chilblains, which appear more frequently on the hands and feet, according to Carmen Alcántara, a dermatologist at the Quirónsalud Córdoba Hospital, who explained that These lesions can appear in asymptomatic patientsor arise in the convalescent phase in those patients who did manifest symptoms, sometimes even weeks after the infectious process.
As the hospital institution has pointed out in a note, Dr. Alcántara has highlighted that these injuries “they are not a manifestation of active coronavirus infection.” Given that the relationship between the virus and skin lesions is still uncertain, “it is necessary to be cautious and treat each case individually, although some studies already suggest that patients with chilblains in distal areas “They should be studied for Covid-19, given the clinical and epidemiological implication.”
In winter and due to low temperatures, the chilblains, whose technical name is erythema pernio or perniosis. These are inflammatory skin lesions caused by continuous exposure to cold, due to the contraction of the blood vessels in the most distal parts, the most typical locations being the fingers, toes, nose and ears. .
The specialist has stated that They develop acutely, as red or purplish swellings that cause itching, pain, and a burning sensation.. In the most severe cases, the skin even forms blisters and ulcerations. These injuries are more common in children, women, people with low body mass or circulation problems.
Although spontaneous healing is common for one to three weeks, as it occurs in the colder months, some shoots can overlap with othersthus sometimes persisting practically throughout the winter.
In this sense, the doctor has insisted thatThe most important pillar of treatment is preventionwearing insulated clothing and waterproof footwear that prevents direct contact of rain, ice or snow on the skin.
Likewise, it is important maintain adequate home heating, but without exposing hands or feet directly to heat sources such as stoves or radiators, “since sudden changes in temperature increase the risk of these injuries appearing,” he stressed. Likewise, avoiding immobility, doing regular physical exercise and massaging prone areas will help stimulate and maintain good blood flow. Tobacco increases the vasoconstrictor response, so it is very important not to smoke.
Dr. Alcántara has explained that, once chilblain occurs, Treatment is symptomatic with rest and heat, reserving corticosteroid creams for the most stubborn cases. In severe and recurrent conditions, different oral drugs are used, including calcium channel blockers.
To conclude, he pointed out that It is important to seek medical attention to detect possible complications if the pain is exceptionally intense, if there is suspicion of superinfection of the lesions, if the symptoms continue after two or three weeks, as well as people with diabetes or circulation problems, where healing may be slowed or hindered.