'COVID Nails' Could Be A Sign You Had The Virus
(Photo: Jyoti Sangya / EyeEm via Getty Images)
We've heard of COVID tongue, rashes, and even fingers and toes - and now there's one more possible sign that you had the virus: COVID nails.
Professor Tim Spector, lead researcher on the Zoe COVID Symptom Study App, shared a photo of the phenomenon on Twitter, suggesting that COVID nails “are increasingly being detected as nails recover from infection and growth recover and clear Line leaves ”.
The horizontal grooves or depressions, also known as beaus lines, appear in the nail plate and can be caused by the interruption in the growth of your nail due to injury or disease. Spector noted that they can appear without rashes in COVID patients and appear harmless.
Case reports published in health journals have found that the phenomenon in COVID patients has been recorded elsewhere. A 45-year-old man had horizontal grooves on his fingernails and toenails - three and a half months earlier, he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 after a positive PCR swab test. His symptoms lasted 10 days and he did not need to be hospitalized.
Dr. Tanya Bleiker, President of the British Association of Dermatologists, told HuffPost UK that dermatologists are also seeing this in COVID patients.
"These changes have long been known as 'Beaus lines' and are transverse depressions in the nail of many or all of the fingernails and sometimes toenails," she says.
The indentations usually appear on the fingernails two to three weeks after an illness - and a little later in the toenails. “They are harmless and grow out over time,” adds Bleiker.
It's important to note that Beaus lines don't apply solely to COVID. So it's not a surefire sign that you had the virus. Other causes include nail trauma, eczema, severe malnutrition, Raynaud's disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy, kidney failure, Kawasaki disease, and chemotherapy.
They have also been linked to a high fever, according to Dermatology Advisor. This is one of the main symptoms of the coronavirus, but also many other diseases such as scarlet fever, pneumonia, and malaria.
There is no specific treatment for such lines, and researchers note that once the underlying condition is resolved, they tend to return to normal. Once that's done, it will likely take six months for the nails - and lines - to grow out and disappear completely.
If they don't grow out or appear more, it may be worth talking to a dermatologist or your primary care doctor about whether another underlying condition could be causing them.
Another nail change that appears to be related to the coronavirus is the presence of red crescent markings on the nails near the cuticle. Researchers aren't sure why this is happening, but they believe it may have something to do with the vascular inflammation caused by the virus.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
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