Health Report: ‘Covid Toes’


(WMAQ/NBC) – They’re being called “Covid toes.” Swollen, red or purple toes showing up on kids and young adults.

Doctors don’t know for sure, but they think they could be related to the coronavirus.

One look at Sadie Dowhan’s toes and you can see something isn’t right.

“I noticed like a couple little spots on my toes I didn’t really know what they were. They’re very itchy, almost like bug bites,” said Sadie.

Sadie’s mom, Emi Clark, reached out to her pediatrician.

“We think Sadie might have had this. And as soon as I saw pictures that had been posted online I was like Yep, that seems about right,” said Clark.

The condition is popping up nationwide.

Dr. Amy Paller, a pediatric dermatologist with Northwestern Medicine, says they’re mainly seeing this in children and young adults.

“It certainly is also occurring in middle aged and older adults as well. But most of these individuals are otherwise fine okay this is no emergency,” said Dr. Paller.

Dermatologists like Dr. Paller are now tracking the cases but experts can’t definitely say it’s coronavirus related.

“We’re not telling everybody to run out and get testing right now, not that we don’t want to know the answer, but more because of being frugal with our resources,” explained Dr. Paller.

For 11-year-old Landon Roark, it started with one swollen toe a week and a half ago.

“It just kept getting worse and then when I noticed that it went to different toes so then you had multiple toes that look the same,” said Brooke Roark, Landon’s Mom.

Besides his toes, landon hasn’t had any other symptoms associated with the coronavirus.

“Really it hasn’t had any limitations I guess it just underscores the importance of staying home,” said Brooke Roark.

“Antibody testing correlating those with positive antibodies with those who’ve had these COVID toes will allow us to start to make a more definitive connection, or not,” said Dr. Paller.

Both Landon and Sadie’s families are interested in getting antibody testing in the future.

In the meantime, Covid toes have been clearing up on their own in a matter of weeks.

“If there weren’t physical things on my toes I wouldn’t even know they were there,” explained Sadie.

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