The Omicron strain of COVID-19 has quickly become the dominant variant of the virus. The symptoms have evolved slightly as different variants have been born. In addition to the common symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have previously warned people to watch out for changes in their lips, skin and nail beds.
According to the CDC, common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, aches, nausea, vomiting, sore throat, headache and congestion. However, the CDC notes that your skin can give you a sign that you need to seek emergency medical care as your case is becoming more serious.
The CDC advised that if your skin, lips or nail beds appear pale, gray or blue, depending on your skin tone, you should get medical attention immediately. This change in color could be a sign of a lack of oxygen in the blood.
Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby said there has been a shift in COVID-19 symptoms relating to lips, nails, skin and hair as the virus has evolved. She noted that COVID-19 was very vascular early on, and people were experiencing chilblains, which is kind of where it looks like purple bruising. “Now we’re moving more into just normal, almost flu-like symptoms that people have.”
Cosmetically, Dr. Allenby said she’s seen patients who had COVID-19 experience “weird reactions” to fillers and threads. “It’s kind of just random, it just happens out of the blue, and it’s like their immune system is picking up and like becoming more of a latent response.”
She added that she’s seen an increase in patients with hair loss and weaker, slower-growing nails. “I think as time goes on, the normal body responses to any illnesses is hair loss, brittle nails, slow-growing, and I think we’re going to see a lot of that.” However, Dr. Allenby is optimistic that these issues won’t happen as frequently with newer, lighter strains. As the virus continues to mutate, Dr. Allenby advised that we continue to “keep an eye on anything weird.”