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A condition nicknamed “COVID toes” could be a sign of the virus in an asymptomatic child patient.

Dr. Amy Paller is the chair of the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is also a pediatric dermatologist at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 

Paller said she has seen a large number of teen and young adult patients with lesions, or painful bumps, on their toes.

Paller said the lesions may be on one toe, or all of them, and can appear on the top or bottom of the foot. The lesions are bright red but can evolve into a purple color.

“Sometime itchy, often times painful,” she said. “These are individuals who are often without any other sign of viral infection. We are seeing this in unprecedented numbers.”

Paller said her team is not sure if there is a direct correlation because testing is limited.

“We really need to save resources. And we can’t be sending people who don’t have the classic signs for that kind of testing,” she said.

Paller said parents should not necessarily act urgently if this is the only sign of the virus their child is showing. However, it is important to notice and document it with photos if more symptoms should appear.

“None of these teens or young adults have gone on to have any serious issues,” she said. “They seem to resolve after a few weeks. We’ll have to find out more as this progresses.”

Paller said it’s always good to consult a pediatrician with any concerns.