'COVID toes' linked to immune system overreaction, small study suggests

A British Journal of Dermatology study published Oct. 6 shed more light on "COVID toes," a symptom of some COVID-19 patients who experience  toes and fingers change color, itch and swell. 

Researchers examined "chilblain-like lesions," which has been extensively reported in COVID-19 cases, in the blood samples and skin biopsies of 50 patients with COVID-like symptoms at Saint-Louis hospital in France in April 2020. 

Researchers found high levels of Type 1 interferon, a protein that activates the body’s immune system to fight viruses, but can also cause damage. The researchers also found high levels of an antibody that can inadvertently attack the body’s own cells.

The study suggested treating the condition with local or systemic anti-inflammatory agents.


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