Background: Increasing evidence suggests pernio-like lesions are cutaneous manifestations of coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Objective: To describe clinical and pathologic findings of pernio-like lesions in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
Methods: An international dermatology registry was circulated to health care providers worldwide through the American Academy of Dermatology, International League of Dermatologic Societies, and other organizations.
Results: We documented 505 patients with dermatologic manifestations associated with COVID-19, including 318 (63%) with pernio-like lesions. Patients with pernio-like lesions were generally young and healthy, with relatively mild COVID-19. Of 318 patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 by providers, 23 (7%) were laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 positive, and 20 others (6%) were close contacts of patients with confirmed COVID-19. Given current testing criteria, many patients lacked COVID-19 testing access. For 55% of patients, pernio-like lesions were their only symptom. In patients with other COVID-19 symptoms, pernio-like lesions typically appeared after other symptoms. Pernio-like lesions lasted a median of 14 days (interquartile range, 10-21 days).
Limitations: A case series cannot estimate population-level incidence or prevalence. In addition, there may be confirmation bias in reporting. We cannot exclude an epiphenomenon.
Conclusions: Pernio-like skin changes of the feet and hands, without another explanation, may suggest COVID-19 infection and should prompt confirmatory testing.
Keywords: COVID-19; chilblains; dermatology; pernio; public health.
Copyright © 2020 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.