A study carried out by a specialist Spanish medical research team has concluded that abrasions in the skin could be one of the first signs that somebody is infected with the coronavirus.
The study was carried out by medical staff at the University 12 October Hospital in the south of Madrid and the Salamanca Clinic.
According to a press release by the hospital, the study found that skin conditions such as chilblains, rashes and a hives-like eruption could all be symptoms of Coronavirus.
These skin conditions are: “likely to be the first manifestations associated with COVID-19.”
During the research, which was recently published in ‘The American Journal of Surgical Pathology’, the two medical institutions contributed 25 samples from patients between 7 and 13, and 28 and 83 years of age during the first wave from March 20th to April 25th.
The hospital said: “Five different types of skin manifestations have been registered, of which 11 have been acroischemic lesions or chilblains, nine exanthemas or rashes, two palpable purpura processes, one urticaria-like rash and two non-specific.”
The research also found that the existence of the virus in endothelial cells can activate “mechanisms that trigger the inflammation that gives rise to dermatological lesions.”
The research found that most of the skin lesions were found in the feet and lower extremities of the body, although there were some isolated cases where they were found on the hands.
According to the team, the data did not reveal any correlation between the skin lesions and “the severity of the respiratory condition derived from the infection.”
According to the press release, although all the patients in the study presented symptoms compatible with covid-19 at the time the sample was taken, only nine of the 25 cases were confirmed by a PCR test.
The research team said: “Of the nine confirmed patients, seven corresponded to the group of rashes with classic respiratory symptoms that included fever, cough and dyspnea. And one to the group of urticarial eruption that developed bilateral pneumonia.”
The researchers suggest that early detection of these skin lesions: “can alert in some cases to SARS-CoV-2 disease and thus prevent the spread of the virus.”