Discolouration in your feet is ‘early’ warning sign of Covid – expert

Coronavirus: Key symptoms of the new Centaurus variant

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Although Covid signs like cough and sore throat are some of the best known symptoms of the virus, lesser-known signs could surprisingly break the news of an ongoing infection. Classed as an early symptom, discolouration in your feet belongs to the latter category – here’s how to spot it.

While the idea of getting Covid probably makes you think about feeling rubbish and crawling into bed, one “early” sign doesn’t necessarily have this effect.

According to Clinical Lead at The Independent Pharmacy Dr Donald Grant, this “early” yet “less widely known” symptom is discolouration in your feet.

This sign is also known as “Covid toes” or blistered feet and causes discolouration and swelling around your toes.

Dr Grant said: “Blistered feet (or Covid toes) are a rare symptom associated with coronavirus.

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“As Covid is still such a new virus the exact reason that this happens is not fully understood by virologists and dermatologists.

“The symptom, which can also affect your hands, results in blisters and the development of itchy painful bumps.”

This red flag sign can appear at any age but Covid toes seem especially prevalent in children, teenagers and young adults.

The expert said: “The typical first signs of Covid toes are swelling and discolouration, firstly turning red and then purple as the condition progresses.

“If you spot the early signs of Covid toes, take a test.

“Positive tests for those who present these symptoms should be reported to a doctor as research into the phenomenon is ongoing.”

The American Academy of Dermatology Association explains you can use a hydrocortisone cream to reduce the pain and itching that comes with this sign.

Apart from blistered feet, Dr Grant outlined other symptoms that could break the news of a Covid infection.

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The doctor said: “A 2021 published paper into the early detection of coronavirus observes that symptoms are wide-ranging and can drastically change depending on age group and gender.

“One key finding from the study demonstrated that the most obvious warning signs for early detection include the typical loss of smell and persistent cough.

“But also less widely known symptoms associated with the virus such as abdominal pain, eye soreness, and blistered feet.”

Dr Grant recommended getting tested when you experience any Covid symptoms as “testing remains the best indicator for coronavirus”.

As prevention could avoid the need for treatment, the expert encouraged people to get their boosters.

He said: “Prevention through vaccination is, of course, the best way to avoid getting coronavirus or experiencing severe symptoms associated with the virus.

“Autumn booster jabs are now widely available around the United Kingdom for frontline health and social workers, carers over 16, and people over 50 years old or pregnant.

“Those over five with a weakened immune system or who live with someone who does can also get this seasonal booster.”

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