London, Jul 3 (IANS): There's considerable controversy over whether "Covid toes" -- red sores or lesions on the feet and hands in children and young adults -- are truly caused by Covid-19. Now a new study has provided evidence in support of the link.
"Our findings support a causal relation of SARS-CoV-2 with Covid toes," study lead author Isabel Colmenero from the Hospital Infantil Universitario Nino Jesus in Spain said in a paper published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
According to the researchers, in most cases, the affected individuals test negative in traditional Covid-19 tests involving throat swabs and measurements of circulating antibodies.
But this study's investigators found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes Covid-19 was present in skin biopsies of children with symptoms of Covid toes, despite negative results from traditional tests.
Analyses detected the virus in the skin's blood vessel endothelial cells, as well as in the sweat glands. Electron microscopy in one biopsy also found evidence of viral particles within endothelial cells.
"Endothelial damage induced by the virus could be the key mechanism causing these lesions," Colmenero said.
"Furthermore, vascular damage could also explain some clinical features seen in patients with severe Covid-19," Colmenero added.
Recently, a study published in the journal JAMA Dermatology revealed that the pattern of skin reddening and swelling reported in children during the pandemic, popularly called Covid toes, might not be associated with novel coronavirus.
As on Friday morning, the number of global Covid-19 cases increased to over 10.8 million, while the death toll has soared to more than 520,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities with 2,739,230 and 128,743, respectively.