We’ve heard of COVID tongue, rashes and even fingers and toes – and now there’s another possible sign that you’ve had the virus: COVID nails.
Professor Tim Spector, principal investigator of the Zoe COVID Symptom Study app, shared a photo of the phenomenon on Twitter, suggesting that COVID nails are “increasingly recognized as nails recover from infection and growth is restored, leaving a clear line. “.
Also known as Bo lines, horizontal grooves or dents appear in the nail plate and can be caused by an interruption in the growth of your nail due to injury or disease. Specter noted that in patients with COVID, they may appear without skin rashes and appear harmless.
Case reports published in health journals note that the phenomenon has been reported in patients with COVID elsewhere. A 45-year-old man with horizontal grooves on his nails and toenails – three and a half months before he was diagnosed with COVID-19 after a positive PCR test. His symptoms lasted for 10 days and he did not require hospitalization.
Dr Tanya Bleiker, president of the British Association of Dermatologists, told HuffPost UK that this is something dermatologists have seen in patients with COVID.
“These changes have long been recognized as ‘Bo lines’ and represent transverse indentations in the nail of many or all of the toenails, and sometimes on the toenails,” she says.
The dents usually appear on the nails between two and three weeks after the disease – and a little later on the toenails. “They’re harmless and grow over time,” Blyker added.
It is important to note that Beau lines are not exclusive to COVID – so it is not a sure sign that you have had the virus. Other causes include nail trauma, eczema, severe malnutrition, Raynaud’s disease, hypertension, epilepsy, kidney failure, Kawasaki disease and chemotherapy.
They are also associated with the presence of fever, according to the dermatologist, which is one of the key symptoms of the coronavirus, but also many other diseases, including scarlet fever, pneumonia and malaria.
There is no specific treatment for such lines, and researchers note that they usually return to normal if the underlying condition is resolved. Once that happens, it will probably take about six months for the nails – and the lines – to grow and disappear completely.
If they do not grow or appear more, it may be worth talking to a dermatologist or your doctor about whether another underlying disease can cause it.
Another nail change that appears to be related to the coronavirus is the presence of red crescent scars on the nails near the cuticles. Researchers are not sure why this happens, but believe it may be related to vascular inflammation caused by the virus.