Common COVID-19 symptoms are now well-known by the general public, with issues such as dry cough, fever, exhaustion and loss of taste or smell all setting off alarm bells.
But a COVID infection can also cause a number of unusual symptoms. Among them, a severe rash, which is often flat and red but can also resemble chickenpox, with small amounts of pus even potentially gathering under that area of the skin.
Mayo Clinic addressed this oft-overlooked symptom in a blog post this week, with Dr. Dawn Davis, chair of the Division of Clinical Dermatology, explaining incidence of severe rash is dropping as COVID vaccinations are increasing.
"The severity of the disease can mirror the severity of the rash," she said in the post. "The incidence of cutaneous markers for COVID, in general, is tending to decrease in the vaccinated population."
According to the clinic, while a COVID-19 rash can occur in adults, children can experience a more severe version due to their still-developing immune system. In some COVID infections, a rash may even be the only symptom a child has.
The rash can take many forms (some of which look like the rash you would see with other illnesses, such as chickenpox) and appear all over the body. "COVID toes" is an example of this, Mayo Clinic said.
One important thing to note: The rash itself isn't contagious, the clinic said, and actually often appears after peak inoculation of the virus.
Said Davis: " It is a visible signal that your immune system is responding to the infection."
Rashes in children, when occurring along with other more serious symptoms, can be a sign of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which is a rare — but serious — COVID-related complication, Hopkins Medicine says.
A COVID rash is also different from so-called "COVID arm," a rash some people experience after receiving a vaccination. This rash is generally not anything to worry about, will go away on its own or with an over-the-counter medicine, and aren't an indication of a severe allergic reaction.