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Covid Toes: What is it and what to do about it?

As each day passes we continue to adjust to a new way of life and part of this new way of life is the constant stream of new information about COVID-19. One of the more recent things you might have heard about is a condition called “COVID toes” which is reportedly being seen in children.

What are COVID Toes?

According to Dr. Ebbing Lautenbach, chief of infectious disease at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine, “the lesions appear as bluish-red or purple bumps that hurt or feel warm when touched. He said they often occur on the pads of the toes, but can also appear on the upper side of the foot, and look similar to frost-bite. They tend to be a bit painful, can feel warm to the touch and can also be accompanied by dry, cracking skin.”


What causes Covid toes?

Doctors says that say that the purple-blue lesions are caused by a vasculitis (inflammation) of the very small blood vessels that are typically at the ends of toes and fingers. The hypothesis is that the vasculitis is caused by a heightened immune state that is present when a patient is affected by Covid-19.

What to do?

Like any other virus and accompanying rashes, there is no treatment for the underlying virus, just the side effects. If you are feeling discomfort, doctors recommend taking pain medicine or using topical medication like hydrocortisone to decrease the inflammation or the itch.

Many experts in the field agree that dermatologic symptoms, such as COVID toes, should be considered as criteria for testing. They do caution however, that if you're having these symptoms, you should not panic. Most patients, specifically children and young adults who are developing these COVID toes are doing well and are able to recover fully at home. Also remember, that the lesions will go away on their own.

If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort you can speak with your family doctor or a Registered Chiropodist and they can assess your situation via a virtual appointment. You can book a virtual appointment with a HealthCasa Registered Chiropodist HERE.

Not sure where to start or what to do? We’re here to help.

Email us at or call us at 647-691-5150


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