New data increasingly show that the symptoms of COVID-19 can exceed what is expected from a common cold or flu.
More than two years have passed since the pandemic occurred, and hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases are being recorded daily worldwide.
With the advent of new variants, the symptoms of COVID-19 have also evolved. Initially, the NHS considered fever, cough, loss of smell or taste to be the main symptom of COVID-19 infection. Currently, the recently updated NHS guidance also requires attention to symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose and runny nose, and headaches.
But what about some of the more ambiguous signs and symptoms? From skin lesions to deafness, there is increasing data showing that the symptoms of COVID-19 can exceed those expected from a common cold or flu.
1. Skin lesions
COVID-19-related skin complaints are not uncommon. In fact, a UK study published in 2021 found that one in five patients had only a rash and no other symptoms.
COVID-19 can affect the skin in a variety of ways. Some people may experience a widespread papular rash (flat or raised areas of discolored skin), while others may present with hives (raised areas of itchy skin). Maybe.
On the other hand, “COVID toes” represent redness, swelling, and blistering lesions on the skin of the toes. This condition is common in adolescents or young adults who are mild or asymptomatic.
Most COVID-19 skin lesions tend to disappear after a few days, and in some cases weeks, without the need for special treatment. However, if your skin is very itchy or painful, you can consult your doctor or dermatologist to recommend treatments such as creams.
During infections, including SARS-CoV-2 (a virus that causes COVID-19), our bodies naturally try to express that they are under abnormal amounts of stress. They can do this in a variety of weird and wonderful ways, including through our nails. “COVID Nail” includes the following changes:
- Beau’s Line – A horizontal depression at the base of the nail or toenail when physical stress on the body temporarily interrupts nail growth.
- Mees’ Line – A horizontal white line that appears on your nails. It is thought to be caused by the abnormal production of protein in the nail bed.
- A pattern of red half-moons that occurs at the base of the fingernails (the underlying mechanism of this change is unknown).
Data on the number of people experiencing COVID nails are limited, but it is estimated that it can be up to 1-2 percent of COVID-19 patients.
COVID nails tend to appear days or weeks after COVID-19 infection as the nail grows. It may be painful at first, but the majority tend to return to normal in a few weeks.
In particular, these changes may indicate COVID-19, but can also be caused by a variety of causes. For example, Beau’s line can be secondary to chemotherapy or another infection.
3. Hair loss
Hair loss is probably a modest symptom of COVID-19, usually occurring more than a month after an acute infection. In one study of about 6,000 people who had previously been infected with COVID-19, hair loss was the most common post-COVID-19 symptom, reported by 48% of participants. It was especially common in severely ill COVID-19 infected individuals and Caucasian women.
It is believed that this is due to the hair “sensing” the body’s stress, leading to excessive shedding. Indeed, hair loss can also be caused by other stressful events such as childbirth. The good news is that the hair returns to normal over time.
4. Deafness and tinnitus
Like other viral infections such as influenza and measles, COVID-19 affects cells in the inner ear and can cause deafness and tinnitus (tinnitus) after infection.
In a review study of 560 participants, deafness occurred in 3.1% of COVID-19 patients and tinnitus occurred in 4.5%.
One study of 30 people diagnosed with COVID-19 and 30 people not diagnosed found that COVID-19 was associated with inner ear damage and caused hearing loss. At higher frequencies. For the majority of patients, this resolves spontaneously, but cases of persistent deafness associated with COVID-19 have been reported.
Why all these symptoms?
The exact cause of these symptoms is unknown, but it is known that the most important role is played by a process called inflammation. Inflammation is our body’s natural defense against pathogens. SARS-CoV-2 in this case. This includes the production of “cytokines,” proteins that are important in controlling the activity of immune cells.
Overproduction of these proteins as part of the inflammation caused by COVID-19 infection can cause sensory impairment. This may explain why some people are experiencing deafness and tinnitus. It can also destroy the capillary network, which is a very small blood vessel that supplies blood to organs such as the ears, skin, and nails.
The symptoms described here are not limited to COVID-19 infections. However, if you notice any of these symptoms, especially if you are in an area where COVID-19 is endemic, it is appropriate to consider a COVID-19 test.
You can also contact your doctor, especially if your symptoms are getting worse or if you are causing serious discomfort. At the same time, you can rest assured that most of these symptoms are likely to improve over time.
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