Rashes can be a more reliable tell-tale sign of coronavirus than a fever or cough, especially in children, researchers have warned.
Experts at King’s College London, who operate the Covid Symptom Tracker app, now want to add rashes to the official symptom list and have identified eight different types.
It comes after a reported increase in app users reporting skin conditions, with nine percent of those who tested positive having rashes on their bodies, fingers, or toes.
Data also suggest that rashes in children are twice as common as adults and can appear before, during, and after other viral symptoms – sometimes weeks apart.
In 21 percent of the cases, rashes were the only symptom.
Working with the British Association of Dermatologists, KCL scientists compiled a gallery of 400 images after receiving thousands of examples of rashes.
The eight categories are a Beehive-type rash (urticaria)characterized by itchy, raised bumps on any part of the body.
Second is a ‘prickly heat or chicken pox rash, usually on the elbows and knees, and the backs of the hands and feet.
Third are “Covid fingers and toes” (Chilblains), consisting of reddish or purple bumps on the fingers or toes that can be very sore.
The next one is Pityriasis rosea, an acute eruption that may be seasonal and potentially viral in origin, with more people reporting having it during the pandemic.
Fifth is Throat and breast eczema This is often pink and itchy, while by the sixth time the lips become sore on the inside or outside and may be dry and flaky.
The penultimate rash is Purpuriccharacterized by deep red or purple spots that cause bruising.
And finally is Rash – a symmetrical rash of reddish spots or bumps, usually accompanied by viral disease.
The same team of experts previously succeeded in convincing the government to include loss of taste and smell on the symptom list.
Consultative dermatologist Veronique Bataille led the coronavirus skin study.
She told The Sun: “Our research shows that rashes can predict Covid-19 better than fever and cough, especially in children.
“We found that every sixth child gets a rash without any other classic symptoms.
“For most, Covid-19 rashes last a few weeks and eventually go away. In some cases, prescribed medication may be required if the rash is very itchy.”
Meanwhile, KCL epidemiologist Professor Tim Spector said of the app’s millions of users that he and his team could “confirm the link between rashes and other Covid-19 symptoms.”
He said adding rashes to the list “will reduce infections and save lives”.
Click here Learn more about the eight rashes.