About 522 million cases of Covid-19 have already been registered worldwide during the pandemic. And, in the same way that new variants of the virus appear in more than two years, the typical symptoms of the disease also change: in the beginning, fever, cough and loss or change in smell or taste were the main indications . Currently, new guidelines include sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, and headache.
But there are a number of darker symptoms that Covid-19 patients also report, such as skin injuries, hearing loss and hair loss. The cause of these symptoms is still unknown, but it is known that they are all related to the inflammatory process – a natural defense mechanism in our body against pathogens. Below, we explain each of them.
According to a British study published last year, one in five Covid-19 patients has only one rash and no other symptoms. The rash can range from generalized maculopapular (flat or raised areas of discolored skin) to urticaria (raised areas of itchy skin).
The disease can also affect the toes, with red, swollen or blistered skin lesions. This symptom is most commonly seen in adolescents or young adults with moderate or no symptoms, the study found. Most skin lesions caused by Covid tend to disappear within a few days or, at most, a few weeks, without the need for specialized treatment.
An estimated 1% to 2% of Covid patients have toenails or toenail injuries after illness. This type of symptom can manifest itself in three ways: Beau lines (“crumples” that occur at the base of the nails or toenails when there is a temporary interruption in nail growth due to physical stress on the body); Mees lines (horizontal white lines that appear on the nails, most likely due to abnormal production of proteins in the underlying cells); or a red crescent pattern that develops at the base of the nails.
In a study of nearly 6,000 people, hair loss was the most common symptom after Covid, which was reported in 48% of cases. It was especially prevalent among men with severe Covid and white women. The onset of this symptom usually occurs a month or more after the acute infection. The good news is that after a while the hair returns to normal.
Hearing loss and ringing ears
Scientists have found that Covid-19, like other viral infections, is associated with possible damage to the inner ear leading to hearing loss or a constant feeling of tinnitus sometimes after infection. In a review study that included 560 participants, hearing loss occurred in 3.1% of Covid patients, while tinnitus occurred in 4.5%. Although the vast majority of these patients resolve on their own, permanent cases of Covid-related hearing loss have been reported.
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