Proactive Foot and Ankle Associates

ProActive Podiatrists seeing “COVID Toes”

The COVID pandemic continues to cause problems in so many ways, presenting with different symptoms, from shortness of breath, fever, and cough to diarrhea to loss of taste and conjunctivitis (pink eye).  Podiatrists and dermatologists are now beginning to see a new way the coronavirus is showing itself, by causing a rash on the feet. You may have heard the term COVID toes, but what is it. Yes, it is a real condition affecting one or more toes and maybe the first, and possible only, sign of the disease.

Skin lesions caused by viruses are common, such as measles, chickenpox, and shingles, herpes simplex (cold sores) or plantar warts. So the development of skin issues from the coronavirus is not completely unexpected.

The rash consists of red or purple to red or blue bumps or flat lesions sometimes described as “blotchy” on the toes, possibly accompanied by a painful or burning sensation. Science is not quite sure what is causing these lesions. One thought is that the virus is inflaming the walls in the blood vessels of the toes or possibly causing small blood clots in the blood vessels of the skin.

However, there are many less serious, non-COVID causes of rashes on the feet, which may look and feel similar.  Several medical conditions and medications can contribute to skin rashes; the difficult part can be diagnosing what is causing the rash and developing an appropriate and effective treatment plan.

Our ProActive podiatrists will review your medical history, medications and allergies, ask targeted questions, thoroughly examine the rash and provide expert insight into whether he or she feels COVID toes is a reasonable or possible diagnosis in your particular case.  If COVID toes are suspected, the patient should be immediately be tested for COVID-19 and begin self-quarantine.  Although the COVID toes rash itself often requires no treatment, generally resolving within a few weeks, there are several topical creams which may be effective in relieving the associated burning or pain.


Wishing you good health and safety,


ProActive Physicians

Dr. John Caponigro

Elmwood Park 201-794-3223

Dr. Spero Demoleas

Old Tappan 201-930-9090

Dr. Dino DiTrilio

Westwood 201-664-0225

Dr. Jeffrey Gewirtz

Park Ridge 201-391-1113

Dr. Vincent Giacalone

Emerson 201-261-0500

Dr. Lee Greenberg

Elmwood Park 201-794-3223

Oradell 201-261-7407

Dr. Steven Levy

Oradell 201-261-7407

Dr. Larry Price

Westwood 201-666-5115

Dr. Maddie Quinn

Westwood 201-666-5115

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