As eyes are a mirror of the soul, so nails are a reflection of the work of our body. Scientists claim that their condition can be used to diagnose many diseases, including the new coronavirus infection – even if you have had it asymptomatically.
For almost two years now, the coronavirus pandemic has been going on, during which the medical world has been studying both the disease itself and its health consequences. The term “cobbled nails” has been around for a long time. As a rule, doctors use it when describing additional symptoms of an acute infectious process in some patients. But during the research, other material has also been accumulated – about cases when changes in the condition of the nails appear months after the transferred coronavirus, including its asymptomatic course.
The nail plate is completely renewed within six months, so the changes caused by the infection may not appear immediately, but after a while.
Of course, nails can change color, exfoliate or crumble for other reasons, for example, with fungal infections, vitamin deficiencies, or injury. But global statistics show that at least 20% of COVID-19 patients have a worsening condition of their skin and nails.
Based on real medical cases, the New York Post has compiled a list of five main signs that can serve as a kind of test for coronavirus and say that you have recently suffered this disease .
According to scientists, some of those who have been ill after a while have horizontal lines on their nails. This symptom resembles the Mass stripes – whitish lines on the plate that occur during arsenic poisoning, after a heart attack and some infectious diseases – for example, malaria. The photo shows the hand of a 47-year-old Spanish man who contracted the coronavirus in June last year. According to Spanish doctors, the symptom manifested itself 45 days after the first positive test for COVID-19.
Bo Lines are deep grooved lines that run from one edge to the other of the nail. They may look like indentations or ridges in the nail plate. This symptom has recently been described by Canadian doctors. The photograph attached to the scientific work shows the hand of a 45-year-old patient, who has depressions on both thumbnails that rise 5 millimeters above the nail bed. The report also said that the man tested positive for coronavirus three months before the change in the structure of the nails.
Normally, all people have a crescent moon of different shades of white at the base of the nail bed – in the medical world it is called “lunula”. This is the visible part of the nail root, which can be used to diagnose some changes in the body. Examining the appearance of the nails of patients with COVID-19, scientists from the United States and Mexico drew attention to the appearance of a second red crescent above the moon. So, the case is describedA 37-year-old woman who consulted a doctor for loss of smell, dry cough, and persistent fever. The smear confirmed the acute course of the coronavirus infection. Two days after the onset of the disease, the patient reported a new symptom – the appearance of a red crescent on the nails, which disappeared on its own after one week. Due to the mild course of the disease, the woman was treated on an outpatient basis and did not need oxygen. Doctors associated the change in nail color with covid-associated vasculitis (vascular inflammation).
The patient discovered the appearance of a dark red crescent moon on the nails 2 days after the onset of the disease,Wiley Public Heath Emergency
Yellowing of the nail plate
Another possible sign of coronavirus is the formation of yellow or orange spots at the end of the nail. It was described by Italian doctors observing an elderly woman who contracted COVID-19 in a nursing home. Her nail color began to change 16 weeks after diagnosis and persisted for a month. Her coronavirus infection was confirmed by a PCR test that revealed the presence of IgM antibodies. “Yellowing of the nails and telangiectasia (dilation of small vessels in the skin) at the base of the nail bed may be signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while common seasonal infections cause plate deformities and melanonychia (deposition of melanin in the nails),” the report said.
In the scientific world, it is believed that coronavirus infection can provoke onychomadesis (detachment of the nail plate from the bed). It looks as if the nail has split into two parts, and one of them has risen above the surface of the finger. This phenomenon can be observed with various infections, including enterovirus infections, with autoimmune diseases, and taking certain medications. Now the same is observed in people who have had COVID-19 .
The photo shows the nails of a 47-year-old woman who consulted a dermatologist due to detachment of plates on her hands and feet. It turned out that three months before the onset of this problem, the patient had had a severe coronavirus and was even hospitalized. According to her attending physician, the body has decided to get rid of the nails, which are a kind of reservoir for storing the virus. How, when and under what conditions this happens is still unknown – cases of postcoid onychomadesis are rare and still poorly understood.