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The mystery of COVID toes

COVID toes is a phenomenon that started to be described in Italy and Spain at the outset of winter months during the initial wave of the novel coronavirus epidemic in 2020. The accounts was getting a extremely high prevalence of chilblains in the toes in individuals with COVID-19. The news media locked on to these accounts and lots of interest was paid to them. A lot of curiosity continues to be produced from the general public and health care professionals in the whole phenomenon of these COVID toes.

There are lots of pathological processes related to COVID-19, including problems with the blood, the cytokine reactions and inflammatory processes that might change the blood flow in the toes that predispose the foot or toes to getting chilblains. Chilblains can be a inadequate reaction of the small blood vessels to alterations in temperature. Should the tiny arteries don't respond appropriately, waste material build up in the skin ultimately causing an inflammatory process which is the chilblain. It's easy to ascertain just how COVID-19 could raise the chance of developing a chilblain. Some early histological reports from biopsies in the chilblains of individuals with COVID-19 did show that there were components of the problem present in the tissues. Nevertheless, various other studies have showed that there wasn't any, therefore it has started to become very baffling in regards to what the connection between the two entities are.

The thing is that with the passage of time and additional analysis we have an increasing amount of accounts that there is not any connection involving chilblains and COVID-19 and the higher frequency is only a coincidence. There exists one study within the Nordic countries that there has been virtually no rise in the incidence of chilblains in those countries. Several other current research using biopsies and also post-mortem autopsy have found no COVID components associated with the chilblains. There is speculation how the presumed increase in the incidence in some nations would be a issue with the lifestyle variations as a result of the lockdown during the outbreak and that they are not really part of the pathophysiological process of the coronavirus. These changes in lifestyle during the lockdown include things like getting much more inactive, probably the less wearing of shoes, becoming more exposed to air-conditioning and the constant warmness inside. These lifestyle changes during lockdown was probably greater in countries like Spain and Italy and the alterations might not have been so much in the Nordic countries. In Nordic countries they could simply be better with managing the issues about temperature fluctuations which are regarded as a risk factor in chilblains. This might simply be the reason for the various incidences in the above regions.

An episode of the popular podiatry livestream, PodChatLive has been on this very subject. The shows hosts talked with a podiatric doctor in South Africa, Nadia Dembskey who is about to embark on a Doctor of Philosophy on the topic. Just about all of the aforementioned concerns were discussed, and so they still have not really been settled. Given all of the contradicting data and the uncertain ideas that there are on the issue, it may possibly be a long time before the research extends to take care of this.