There’s still so much we don’t know about COVID-19, even after all these months. One of the strangest things about the disease is the wide variety of symptoms it can produce.

Sure, most people who contract the infection show mainly or only the “classic” symptoms of an upper respiratory disease: coughing, difficulty breathing, fever, and aching muscles. But others have had things like severe blood clots, kidney damage, rashes, diarrhea—and also a puzzling foot condition that’s being called COVID toes (or sometimes COVID feet).

At Capital Podiatry Associates, we’ve started to see patients with these symptoms, and the good news is that we are very likely able to help you.

COVID Toes Graphic

What Are COVID Toes?

There are a number of symptoms that are associated with the COVID toes phenomenon. Typically, the condition presents as toes that are painful and swollen, and covered with reddish or purple lesions or bumps. Sometimes these lesions can appear on the soles of your feet as well. In some cases the pain, tenderness, and itchiness can be severe.

Do COVID Toes Mean I Have COVID-19?

Even though there is a lot we don’t know yet, we’d strongly recommend that, if you do develop the symptoms of COVID toes, you should get a COVID test—even if you have no other obvious symptoms that would be typically associated with the disease.

Having COVID toes does not necessarily mean you’re in the active stage of illness, or that you will experience any other symptoms. It’s possible you have an active case of COVID-19 but are otherwise asymptomatic. It’s also possible that your COVID toes didn’t fully develop until several weeks after you, unknowingly, passed through an asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic acute phase.

In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that COVID toes are more indicative of an overall mild case of COVID-19. Skin rashes are fairly common in situations where the immune system is aggressively fighting an infectious disease, and COVID toes may be an example of that.

However, again, it’s important to clarify that there is still a lot we don’t know. There is enough of a link between COVID toe symptoms and COVID-19 infections that you should always take this situation very seriously, get tested, and take precautions to protect yourself and others as necessary.

A look at COVID toe

What Should I Do About My COVID Toes?

If you are not an existing patient, we would love to talk to you! Our fees are $250 for a 30-minute initial consultation and $100 for a 15-minute follow up. 

We encourage you to reach our office if you’ve developed discolored lesions on your toes that you suspect may be COVID toes—especially if you are dealing with pain, itchiness, and discomfort that is impairing your quality of life.

Of course, we are exercising extreme caution when it comes to COVID-19, in an effort to keep our patients and staff healthy and safe. We may recommend that we start with a telemedicine appointment so the doctor can examine your toes without you needing to book a physical appointment.

If you think you have COVID toes, don’t panic! You are very likely going to be fine, but you should still take some appropriate steps to protect yourself and others, and to minimize any painful symptoms. You should:

  • Get a COVID test if you haven’t already.
  • Call Capital Podiatry Associates to determine what treatment options may be most effective in your case.

You can reach our office in Alexandria, VA at (703) 560-3773, or request an appointment online. Please continue to stay healthy and safe. We look forward to helping you in any way we can!

13 Comments
Had covid for a month in a half over a year ago. Cramping in feet was a symptom among many others. Now my right foot is numb and tingling always one toe
by Daniel Stewart January 10, 2022 at 11:36 PM
Update to my 9/22/21 post... What was initially thought to be possible covid toe turned out to be a blood clot, although the condition could have been triggered by covid. A blood test showed high blood counts of red & white blood cells and platelets, among others. An ER physician was the 1st to suspect the clot & consult a specialist. I was referred to a hematologist who diagnosed a blood cancer called polycythemia vera. I have been treated with aspirin for the clot and phlebotomy & oral chemo to correct blood levels, and two months later my toe has improved somewhat but still experiencing burning & stinging pain and unable to walk much. However, I have developed other symptoms that make this the least of my current issues.
by Marc December 30, 2021 at 03:32 PM
If you think you have this, get it checked and get a COVID test. I tested positive for COVID on September 1st. 14 days of illness, then 3 days of brain fog, followed by two weeks of fatigue and a week and a half of paint COVID toe. Now I have neuropathy in my toes and feet from the COVID toe. It makes life that much harder when you can’t feel your feet and toes well.
by Aaron December 19, 2021 at 03:12 PM
I had covid for about a month and got covid fingers an feet. Even though I been over covid along with a week quarantine. I still had covid fingers an feet for a month after. But I still have a lot of pain in my feet an it's very hard to walk on my feet still. I have to use crutches but most times I can't walk on my feet.
by Rhonda Sicheri December 19, 2021 at 02:27 AM
After my first Covid vaccine shot, a day later, I was having extreme pain in my left foot. When I reported to the Wellness center and took off my shoe the foot was swollen, and turned dark purple to blue. We iced it and that seemd to do the trick however, I have developed a bunion type issue on the knuckle of that same foot (on the big toe) and my toe seems to have changed direction and is looking left instead of straight. I have severe sharp pains, similar to what you have mentioned about chillblains but it doesn't go away and knuckle is dramatically larger than the right and hurts a Lot
by Elizabeth K Young December 18, 2021 at 02:46 PM
I had Covid and noted a week after my bilateral great toenails looked cyanosis and my second toe on right foot was red the bruised looking and finally my toenail turned cyanotic too. My left great toenail come off while putting on socks and my right great toenail became loose. I went to podiatrist and he removed that nail. He said it was probably related to Covid, but didn’t elaborate. My second toe the redness and swelling gone but nail still purple! No pain!
by Darla Turner November 28, 2021 at 10:24 AM
My daughter had covid digits last year and it seems to be returning on her toes. Has anyone else experienced this?
by Sharon November 14, 2021 at 02:17 PM
I had covid about 90 days ago and my feet and hands were burning aching stinging and iching. No lesions or redness. Now it keeps happening randomyly and is getting worse with each period. The pain is sometimes intolerable. I dont know what to do. I need help now!
by Wendy Ramer November 10, 2021 at 11:26 AM
Interesting fact
by Sophia Collins October 20, 2021 at 03:58 AM
I had a minor pinky toe injury last year and still have occasional pain after lots of walking. A few weeks ago the same toe suddenly turned purple (almost black) and I experience burning/stinging pain. X-rays showed no break, and the cause was listed as unknown. However, 2 days later I developed a mild case of Covid, with slight fever and body aches. My suspicion is Covid toe that has attacked a previously compromised toe. I'm now waiting for an appointment with a podiatrist, but it's 5 weeks out. Thank you for this information.
by Marc September 22, 2021 at 09:01 PM
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by Vernon Gilmore September 21, 2021 at 01:38 PM
Interesting fact about covid toes. About 4 weeks ago I had what I thought was a gout attack. My uric acid is elevated. Most of my right foot was swollen, my left foot second toe became inflamed. Then the middle knuckle on my right hand became inflamed. My uric acid level remains elevated but the pain and swelling have nearly disappeared. Is all of this just coincidence? Really confused.
by steve August 25, 2021 at 11:04 AM
Would like more information on this.
by Yvette Haydel August 13, 2021 at 12:22 PM
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