Covid new strain symptoms: Four ‘skin changes’ that may be caused by coronavirus infection

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Covid has killed more than 140,000 people in the UK since the start of February last year, with hundreds of people still dying each day. Scientists have urged the public to remain vigilant for any signs of coronavirus, including four changes to the skin.

If you develop any of the three most important symptoms of Covid, you should get tested straight away.

A high fever, a new, continuous cough, and a loss of smell or taste are considered to be the three key signs of infection, according to the NHS.

But there are also a number of other symptoms that patients have reported over the past 12 months.

Scientists have now revealed that there are four main types of skin changes that may be linked to the coronavirus.

“The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, a dry cough, and losing your sense of taste and smell,” said Vassilios Vassiliou, senior clinical lecturer at the University of East Anglia, and Subothini Sara Selvendran, visiting researcher at the University of East Anglia.

The wrote for The Conversation: “Other signs that are frequently seen include headaches, muscle and joint pain, nasal congestion, and fatigue.

“A less common symptom are rashes of various forms. These have been slower to be reported, partly due to the wide variety that have appeared in COVID-19 patients, making it more challenging to establish a consistent correlation.

“Being able to identify the effects of COVID-19 on the skin may allow cases to be spotted earlier – or even picked up altogether in people who are otherwise asymptomatic.”

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Chilblains are a type of small, red blisters that usually develop when you’re unusually cold.

They mainly appear on the feet or toes, and have been dubbed ‘Covid toes’ in the UK.

The chilblains will develop over a period of two weeks, the scientists warned, and they will gradually become more discoloured.

Around 60 percent of all Covid patients, that have reported skin symptoms, have developed chilblains.


Hives are very common, and are usually linked to itchy skin conditions, including eczema.

They’re also known as urticaria, and are characterised by raised areas of red, itchy skin.

Middle-aged Covid patients are more likely to develop hives than anyone else, they warned.

Viral infections in general have been known to instigate hives in some patients.


Some coronavirus patients may develop fluid-filled sacs underneath the skin, known as vesicular lesions.

They’re similar to the lesions linked to chickenpox, and they tend to appear a few weeks after the initial infection.


A maculopapular rash has been reported in a number of Covid patients, and is characterised by both flat and raised areas of discoloured skin.

Almost half of all patients that developed skin symptoms reported this type of rash.

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