New signs of the Coronavirus seem to pop up all the time. A new symptom is called Covid Toe. It’s when toes have chilblains, which are painful red or purple lesions. This type of problem usually happens in the winter because it’s an inflammation in the small blood vessels in reaction to cold or damp conditions.

Is Covid Toe a New Sign of the Coronavirus?

Is Covid Toe a New Sign of the Coronavirus?


These chilblain-like lesions appear most often on toes and usually a few toes on either one or both feet. They can be extremely painful and cause a burning or itching sensation. The toes can look swollen and red, and the lesions can become purple over time.

Federal health officials haven’t included toe lesions in the list of symptoms, though dermatologists are pushing for a change.

Different medical papers from Spain, Belgium, and Italy described a surge in painful lesions on patients’ toes, Achilles’ heels, and the soles of their feet. It’s not sure whether these patients were infected due to limited testing options, but they were otherwise healthy.

Most cases involved children, teens, and young adults. It’s thought that this could reflect a healthy immune response to the virus.

Scientists are looking more into this issue, but so far, it’s thought that these lesions show a mild or even asymptomatic infection. They could also appear several weeks after the acute phase of an infection is over.

Another idea is that these swollen toes are an epiphenomenon, which is a symptom of a disease without being causally related. Like these swollen toes could be because people are staying inside and walking around barefoot more than usual.

If you develop swollen toes and red and purple lesions, you should consult your primary care doctor or a dermatologist to rule out other causes. Don’t run to the emergency room and possibly expose yourself or others to the Coronavirus.

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