Coronavirus Updates

What is ‘COVID arm,’ ‘COVID toes’?

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The CDC has recognized what is now being known attributed as “COVID arm,” a rash surrounding the vaccination area on the arm.

It could feel hot, spread to other areas, and last for days.

Still, health experts say it should resolve on its own.

“There’s an inflammatory response that’s going on – something foreign has been injected into the body and the body works in this wonderful way to send certain cells there, certain reactions happen within that site to fight it off,” said Jennifer Whaley, a nurse practitioner at West Virginia Dermatology Associates and Surgery Center.

Dr. Sherri Young, Kanawha County’s Health officer says some people are already prone to skin reactions.

“If they have eczema, psoriasis, other skin conditions that predispose them to a reaction, those are the people that typically have a reaction,” said Young.

Things to look out for are wheezing, hives, or swelling within four hours after getting the vaccination, which could signify a more serious allergic reaction.

“There’s also something called ‘COVID toes’ or ‘COVID fingers’ where you have discoloration in the toes; they look red, purple, but that does resolve as well,” said Whaley.

Still, neither ‘COVID arm’ nor ‘COVID toes’ should deter anyone from getting the vaccination say Young and Whaley.

“Things to remember about COVID arm is it’s treatable, it will go away on its own, it’s still recommended that you get the second shot if that happened with your first shot — just remember to change arms, pre-medicate, stay hydrated, have Tylenol on hand and just talk to your health care professional,” said Young.

COVID arm can be treated with antihistamines, topical steroid medications and…time.

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