The four Covid symptoms you might have missed on your skin – here is what to look out for

Skin rashes have widely become seen as the fourth main symptom of Covid-19 – and here are the four types of rash to look out for.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:15 am

It has been widely documented that the main signs that you may have Coronavirus are a fever, a dry cough, or a sudden loss of sense of taste or smell.

The fourth, less well-documented symptom, however, is the appearance of a new skin rash.

This can be the only symptom a person shows, and has mainly been prevalent in young adults or teens.

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A person takes from a bottle of hydroalcoholic hand sanitizer (Photo by Lionel BONAVENTURE / AFP) (Photo by LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP via Getty Images)

A study by the National Library of Medicine found that 17 per cent of COVID-19 patients with multiple symptoms saw a skin rash as the first symptom to appear.

The study also showed that in 21 per cent of patients rashes were their only symptom.

However, there are a range of body rashes that could be indicators of Covid-19 including types of lesions and hives.

What are the four main types of rash?

Chilblain-like lesions

- Red, swollen or blistering skin lesions around the toes or feet.

- Mild disease that usually comes without other virus symptoms.

- These lesions made up 60 per cent of cases in a study into Covid-19 rashes.

Maculopapular rash

- Flat and raised areas of discoloured skin.

- A study of 375 Covid patients in Spain found that 47 per cent had this kind of rash.

- Found more in middle-aged or elderly patients, and usually mixed with other Covid symptoms.

- Typically last 7-18 days, appearing 20-36 days after infection.


- Raised areas of itchy skin.

- Can look like heat rash and can appear on any part of the body.

- More common in middle-aged patients.

Vesicular lesions

- Common sign of Covid.

- Clear fluid-filled sacs under the skin, and can be similar to chicken pox.

Dr Veronique Bataille, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital, said: “Many viral infections can affect the skin, so it’s not surprising that we are seeing these rashes in Covid-19.

“However, it is important that people know that in some cases, a rash may be the first or only symptom of the disease. So if you notice a new rash, you should take it seriously by self-isolating and getting tested as soon as possible.”