COVID-19 Skin Findings in Adults

Common skin findings in adult patients with COVID-19, the infection resulting from the novel coronavirus, are summarized below.

The most common reaction is macules (flat red spots) and papules (raised red spots) on the chest, abdomen, back, buttocks, arms and legs. These are often seen in older patients who are more ill with more severe symptoms. Urticarial lesions are less common but seen in the same patients with the same distribution, these resemble welts or hives and are more often associated with itching.

Vesicular (blistering) rashes are less common and seem to affect middle-aged patients, may be associated with itching, and may be seen prior to other symptoms of COVID-19.

Pseudo-chilblains (“Covid toes”) are more common in younger patients, are associated with milder disease, and may occur with pain or itching. These patients develop red or purple toes, sometimes with swelling, peeling, or ulceration; usually they heal spontaneously over a mean of 13 days.

Livedo (netlike bruising patterns) and necrotic skin lesions are more rare and may be seen with more severe cases of novel coronavirus infection.