Rashes could be a symptom of coronavirus, new research suggests.
KCL scientists looked into data from 336,837 users on its Covid Symptom Tracker app.
Of 27,157 participants who were tested, 7.4% were positive for coronavirus.
And among these patients with Covid-19, 8.8% reported having skin rashes or blotches.
Dr Mario Falchi, who led the study, also noted that the skin problems seem to linger on for more time than typical symptoms.
This is because viruses weaken the immune system and can cause breakouts including rashes, measles or shingles.
Dr Falchi said: “Covid-19 rashes may present in many forms and at different stages of the disease.
“The heterogeneous presentations, the time delay, as well as the focus on severely ill patients during the early phases of the pandemic, led to the skin being overlooked as an important target organ for Covid-19.
“Although, it is less prevalent than fever, it is more specific of Covid-19 and last longer.”
The doctor hopes the study will raise awareness for the potential symptom.
He added: “An increased awareness from the public and healthcare professionals regarding Covid-19 skin changes will allow more efficient identification of new and earlier clusters of the disease.”
The NHS doesn’t list skin rashes as one of the “main symptoms” of coronavirus.
Instead, it asks Brits to look out for the following warning signs:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Some people are asymptomatic, which means they show know signs of Covid-19 at all.
For this reason, it’s important that we all stick to social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of the virus.
For more information, visit the NHS website.