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COVID nails: these changes to your fingernails may show you’ve had coronavirus

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07.06.2021

The main signs of COVID-19 are fever, a cough, fatigue and a loss of your sense of taste and smell. Signs of COVID-19 in the skin have been noted too. But there’s another part of the body where the virus appears to have an impact: the fingernails.

Following a COVID-19 infection, for a small number of patients the fingernails appear discoloured or misshapen a number of weeks later – a phenomenon that’s been dubbed “COVID nails”.

One symptom is a red half-moon pattern that forms a convex band over the white area at the base of fingernails. This seems to present earlier than other COVID-related nail complaints, with patients noticing it less than two weeks after being diagnosed. Multiple cases have been reported – but not many.

Red half-moon nail patterns like this are generally rare, and previously haven’t been seen so close to the nail base. So having this pattern appear like this could exclusively be an indication of a COVID-19 infection.

The mechanism underlying this half-moon patterning remains unclear. A possible cause could be blood vessel damage associated with the virus itself. Alternatively, it may be due to the immune response mounted........

© The Conversation


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