Previous studies conducted in hospitals reported that COVID-19 patients presented with unusual skin rashes. This study, which is published in the British Journal of Dermatology, analyzed information provided by 336,847 individuals in the community who used the COVID Symptom Study app.
Skin rashes were more common in adults with a positive COVID-19 test result than in those who tested negative. Strikingly, among respondents of an online survey, 17% of SARS-CoV-2-positive cases reported skin rashes as the first presentation, and 21% as the only COVID-19 clinical sign.
Together with the British Association of Dermatologists, the study's investigators compiled a catalogue of images of the most common skin manifestations of COVID-19 from 400 individuals.
"Cutaneous manifestations of COVID-19 are sometimes the first or even the only sign of SARS-CoV-2 infection," said senior author Mario Falchi, PhD, of King's College London. "Recognition of such early signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may enable identification of cases missed when relying only on the core symptoms, allowing preventive measures to be put in place to minimize further spreading of the infection."