A rash is a common symptom of COVID-19 infection in children. In fact, it may be the only symptom they experience at all. This doesn’t mean they can’t develop other symptoms of COVID-19. If your child has a fever, cough, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, then you must get them to a GP or emergency services immediately.
Rash as a COVID-19 Symptom
Most children, if they experience any symptoms at all, will only have a rash. This skin rash, also known as COVID toes, can be found on the toes or fingers.
You can identify this skin manifestation by these signs:
- Red or purple rash on fingers or toes
- Swelling in the fingers or toes
- A small amount of pus
In most cases, the only time you need to be worried about these symptoms is if your child also has any of the classic COVID-19 symptoms, like a fever or cough. We offer tapGP treatments for skin conditions like rashes and can help reduce pain and itchiness in inflamed skin.
Even without any treatment, COVID toes usually go away on its own. In most cases, COVID toes last between 10 and 14 days, though it can last longer. If they don’t go down on their own, book an appointment.
Skin Rash as a Post-COVID-19 Symptom
If your child has a rash after they recover from the coronavirus, this could be a sign of a dangerous condition called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This condition essentially occurs when children’s immune systems go into overdrive in response to the infection. If your child has MIS-C, they are no longer contagious, but their condition will need to be managed with the aid of a medical professional.
Signs of this inflammatory syndrome in children include:
- Rash on any part of the body
- Discoloured and cracked lips
- Broken blood vessels in the eyes (bloodshot)
- Swollen and discoloured hands and feet
- A swollen tongue that usually looks like a strawberry
MIS-C may also cause symptoms that are similar to COVID-19, like fever, tummy pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, swollen glands and fatigue.
Treating COVID-19 Related Rashes
If your child has COVID toes or fingers, there usually isn’t a cause for concern unless there are other symptoms like a fever. If the rash occurs afterwards, then book an appointment with tapGP. MIS-C symptoms can go away, and children often get better with medical care.
To reduce the risk of your child catching coronavirus and developing either type of rash, get them the COVID-19 vaccination or booster. Regular boosters are needed for viral infections since the virus can evolve the more it interacts with people. Boosters update your immune system and also keeps the antibodies prepared to fight off another infection before it can take hold.
Other tips to minimise the risk of developing coronavirus are to wash hands regularly and, if you or your child has a compromised immune system, to wear a mask. Being proactive and maintaining good hygiene limits exposure and your chances of catching the coronavirus or any other viral illness.