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Covid effect also on the skin

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CORONAVIRUS, which can cause a myriad of damage to as many organs and tissues, also leaves its mark on the skin. In fact, in March and April, at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, an anomalous increase was observed among the youngest skin lesions similar to chilblains. And also during the spring of this year, the cases of these skin manifestations among the teenagers they went back up again. To date, however, the scientific community has not yet been able to prove conclusively the link between coronavirus and skin manifestations, but experts are convinced of it. To tell us about it is Maya El Hachem, head of Baby Jesus Dermatology, who together with his research team has been trying to discover the origin of these chilblains for more than a year.

Covid, from the skin the signs of infection

To try to understand the link between the chilblains and the coronavirus, the researchers conducted two studies, both published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. During the research, some adolescents who presented this skin manifestation were involved, who were both swab and serological tests. “Most of the kids did not have coronavirus,” explains the expert. Subsequently, the patients were subjected to various analyzes and investigations, without however having detected anomalies both in relation to other pathologies, for example associated with blood clotting problems or autoimmune diseases, and in the presence of the coronavirus. “We did not find the virus in skin lesions,” comments El Hachem, stating that their results were consistent with those reported by other European and American studies. “The relationship between viruses and skin manifestations is certainly there, even if science has not been able to prove it so far. The number of cases that occurred during the peak of the pandemic and the reduction with the regression of cases is directly proportional, unequivocal “. There were, adds the expert, about 50 cases last year and 30 this year, compared to 8-10 that were recorded in a year before the arrival of Covid-19.

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Compared to classic chilblains, these lesions, rounded and reddish, have different characteristics. First of all, the fact that they appear not in the coldest times of the year, but in the spring. “Chilblains usually appear in autumn and winter,” comments El Hachem. Not only that: classic chilblains usually appear on the toes and hands. “The boys we observed had them mainly on the feet, around the nails and on the sole, on the sides and on the heel – adds the expert – in addition, the chilblains lasted about 20-30 days, while these events lasted even two months “. Although in most cases no therapeutic intervention was necessary, in some cases the pain was more intense and persisted even after the skin lesion had healed. “In some boys the pain of the lesions was very intense and they were treated with local cortisone and with drugs against neuropathic pain”, explains the expert.

Other skin manifestations, less common among adolescents, were: la sindrome Kawasaki-like, the most serious, urticaria and polymorphic erythema, or swollen and red lesions that can appear, from a few hours to a few days, on any part of the body in the first case and on the hands and feet in the second case.

How to behave

Chilblains are the most frequent skin manifestations observed during the pandemic among adolescents. But you don’t have to stop at the first symptom to be alarmed. “Parents must consider the global conditions of the child – comments El Hachem – if the boy has not had contact with people at risk or with coronavirus positive people and has no other symptoms other than chilblains, we must be absolutely calm”. If, on the other hand, the adolescent has had suspected or confirmed contacts, obviously, he will have to undergo a swab. “I remember that out of 50 cases last year and out of 30 cases this year that we observed, only one patient had Covid-19 – concludes El Hachem – I would therefore say not to worry, also because in most cases the healing took place spontaneously ”.

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