If there is one thing that makes the covid elusive and insidious it is the continuous transformation of its typical symptoms, between one variant and the next: if at first they suspected cough and loss of smell, now they are sore throat, cold and sore head to trigger the plug.
But beyond the classic alarm bells, the SARS-CoV-2 infection is also accompanied by more bizarre and unusual ailments that many infected may have noticed and perhaps associated with something else, rather than with the covid itself. As explained in an article on The Conversation, these are not new symptoms: it is simply talked about more, due to the massive number of infections. Let’s see four.
Skin lesions. Skin is said to be a litmus test of our health. This also applies to covid: manifestations such as urticaria (a rash with raised blisters), erythema or rash typical of measles, are some of the indicators of a possible infection. In young people with mild or asymptomatic forms of covid, what dermatologists call “fingers from covid“- forms of swelling and redness of the fingers similar to chilblains that resolve in two or three weeks at most, without the need for specific treatments.
Stains on the nails. Among the new expressions born in the pandemic you may have heard mention of the “covid nails“In this case we are talking about signs that appear in the days and weeks following the infection, a manifestation of the stress suffered by the organism.
You may have had covid if, looking at your nails, you notice: the so-called Beau’s lines, that is, more or less deep horizontal grooves on the nail plate; white speckles or irregular stripes (Mees lines); dark pink crescent-shaped bands. These are phenomena related to the slowdown of the nail growth that also appear after other infections or during chemotherapy treatments, and resolve in a few weeks.
Hair loss Copious hair loss is one of the most classic (and annoying) post-covid symptoms, which occurs about a month after the most acute phase of the infection. A study conducted in Brazil on 6000 people recovered from covid found this problem in 48% of the participants, yet – if we exclude hairdressers and those directly involved – it is not a disorder that is often heard of, perhaps because it creates particular discomfort.
Also in this case it is the consequence of a strong stress faced by the body: abundant hair loss also occurs in other tiring moments, for example after childbirth. However, there is no need to worry: it is a passing episode.
Hearing loss and tinnitus. Covid, like the flu, measles, and other infections, can affect cells in the inner ear and cause hearing loss and tinnitus or tinnitus, the perception of a continuous or intermittent ringing or whistling sound, even in the absence of one acoustic stimulus.
A review of studies on the subject by Canadian researchers found that hearing loss occurs in 3.1% of covid patients, and tinnitus in 4.5%. The first disorder is usually accompanied by greater difficulty in perceiving high-frequency sounds. Although it is generally recovered without particular problems, in some cases the loss can be irreversible.
A common cause. Underlying these disorders is probably the inflammatory process that the body triggers to defend itself against the coronavirus. In particular, the excessive production of cytokines, the proteins that control the activity of immune cells, can obstruct circulation in the capillaries, the smallest blood vessels that supply the nails, skin and ears. This explains the appearance of these symptoms, which are not exclusive signals of the covid (they also appear after other infections) but which could at least make us suspicious.
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