Covid Rash In Kids


The data available on the COVID-19 infection shows that young children are presented with very mild symptoms on contracting the disease and in some children, this can only be seen in the form of rashes which present on the toes/fingers, hence are called COVID-toes.

These rashes generally look like-

  • Red or purple toes/fingers
  • Swelling on the toes/fingers
  • Puss filled rashes on the toes/fingers

Presentation of these rashes unaccompanied by other symptoms like cough, or fever does not pose any threat to the child; but if they do develop these other symptoms, it is highly advised to consult a doctor.

Treating COVID Toes

In many patients it has been observed that the rashes presented as a result of COVID-19 do not develop any other systemic complications; these patients were seen to have been cured of their rashes without any treatment within 2-4 weeks of appearance.  It is also suggested that the patients do not expose their rashes to extremely hot or cold temperatures as this might worsen their rashes and cause irritation.

Some people were prescribed the drug mometasone furoate and heparin gel which helped in improving their symptoms within 4 days of treatment.

Healthcare professionals also prescribe the following medicines to help ease the pain & itching caused due to the rashes:

  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Tropical steroids

HCQ induced rashes

When children affected with COVID-19 are treated for their symptoms using Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) – an effective antiviral drug – which is now not recommended for treating the symptoms of COVID as it has more side effects than benefits – causes allergic rashes in children under the age of 18. These rashes start at the face and continue on the fingers / toes and end on the trunk and can present as simple blemishes on the skin or as itchy lesions. According to a study the following types of rashes were presented in the children:

  • Erythematous Skin Rash – Rashes caused by inflammation or injury in the blood capillaries caused as a response to a disease, drug or infection.
  • Maculopapular Rash – Rashes caused by systemic inflammation due to release of cytokines by the innate immune system as a reaction towards any disease, allergy or infection (mostly viral). These rashes are presented as flat and raised lesions on the skin.
  • Morbilliform Eruptions – These are lesions on the skin which may coalesce into large plaques which are very itchy (pruritic) in nature and can be easily confused as viral exanthems (an eruptive skin rash caused due to infection by virus)

When treatment with HCQ was halted, the rash developed in the children was also seen to have been ameliorated.

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