The virus that causes COVID-19 typically strikes the lungs with full force, but new research shows it can also cause frostbite-like patches on the hands and toes, and rashes on the body.

The condition has recently been dubbed “COVID toes.” Fortunately, it isn’t serious and the lesions usually disappear on their own, said Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

“One of the more surprising findings in this epidemic has been the lesions that we’re seeing on people’s toes and hands,” she said.

Freeman noted that COVID toes aren’t caused by exposure to cold, as is frostbite or chilblains. Rather it seems to be an inflammation of the circulatory system that shows up as a skin rash.

“It’s really important to reassure the public that most of our patients who are developing COVID toes are doing very well, so they’re often patients who have a benign clinical course. They either are having mild disease or often their only symptom might be their toes,” she said.

Medical reference: usnews