Well over two years after the start of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands Covid cases continue to be recorded every day around the world.
With the advent of new variants, the symptoms of COVID have also evolved. First, the NHS looked at fever, cough and loss or change in feeling smell or taste as the main symptoms that could indicate COVID infection. Now the recently updated NHS guidance suggests even after symptoms such as a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose and a headache.
But what about some of the more obscure signs and symptoms? From skin lesions to hearing loss, new data is increasingly showing us that COVID symptoms can go beyond what you would expect from a normal person cold or flu.
1. Skin lesions
COVID related skin complaints are not uncommon. In fact, a British study published in 2021 found that one in five patients had only a rash and no other symptoms.
COVID can affect the skin in a number of ways. Some people may present with a widespread maculopapular rash (flat or raised areas of discolored skin), while others may present with hives (raised areas of itchy skin).
“COVID toes,” on the other hand, describes red, swollen, or blistering skin lesions on the toes. This symptom is more common in adolescents or young adults with mild or no symptoms.
Most COVID skin lesions usually go away after a few days, or in some cases a few weeks, without requiring any special treatment. However, if the skin is very itchy or painful, you can see a GP or dermatologistwho can recommend a treatment such as a cream.
2. COVID nails
during one infectionincluding that of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), our bodies are naturally trying to express that they are under an unusual amount of emphasize. They can do this in a variety of weird and wonderful ways, including through our nails. “COVID nails” includes changes such as: Beau lines – horizontal indentations that appear at the base of the fingernails or toenails when nail growth is temporarily interrupted due to physical stress on the body Mees lines – horizontal white lines that appear on the Nails, presumably caused by the abnormal production of proteins in the nail bed, a red crescent pattern develops at the base of the fingernails (the mechanism underlying this change is unclear).
Data on how many people have COVID nails is limited, but it is estimated that it could be up to 1-2% of COVID patients.
COVID nails usually appear in the days or weeks after COVID infection as nails grow. Although they can be painful at first, the vast majority tend to return to normal within a few weeks.
Specifically, while these changes may indicate COVID, they can also be caused by various things. For example, Beau lines may be secondary to chemotherapy or another infection.
3. Hair loss
Hair loss is perhaps an understated symptom of COVID-19, typically appearing a month or more after acute infection. In a study of nearly 6,000 people who had previously had COVID, hair loss was the most common post-COVID symptom, reported by 48% of participants. It was particularly common in people with severe COVID and whites Women.
It is believed that this is due to the hair “sensing” the stress in the body, which leads to excessive hair loss. In fact, hair loss can also be triggered by other stressful events like childbirth. The good news is that over time, hair will grow back to normal.
4. Hearing loss and tinnitus
As with other viral infections such as influenza and measles, COVID has been found to affect the cells in the inner ear, sometimes leading to hearing loss or tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ear) after infection.
In a review study of 560 participants, 3.1% of patients with COVID experienced hearing loss, while 4.5% experienced tinnitus.
In a study of 30 people who had been diagnosed with COVID and 30 who hadn’t — none with pre-existing hearing problems — the researcher found that COVID was associated with damage to the inner ear, resulting in hearing loss at higher frequencies. While this resolves on its own in the vast majority of patients, cases of permanent hearing loss associated with COVID have been reported.
Why all these symptoms?
We don’t understand exactly what causes these symptoms, but we do know that the most important role is played by a process called inflammation. Inflammation is our body’s natural defense mechanism against pathogens; In this case SARS-CoV-2. It involves the production of “cytokines” – proteins important in controlling the activity of immune cells.
Excessive production of these proteins as part of the inflammation triggered by COVID infection, can cause sensory deficits that may explain why some people conceive deafness and ringing in the ears. It can also disrupt the capillary networks, very small blood vessels that supply blood to organs like the ears, skin, and nails.
The symptoms described here are not exclusively related to a COVID infection. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, it would be appropriate to consider a COVID test, especially if you are in an area where COVID is circulating.
You can also contact your GP, especially if symptoms worsen or bother you significantly light pain. At the same time, rest assured that most of these symptoms will improve over time.
📣 Follow us for more lifestyle news Instagram | Twitter | Facebook and don’t miss any news!