Dermatologic manifestations of COVID-19: a comprehensive systematic review

Int J Dermatol. 2021 Apr;60(4):418-450. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15168. Epub 2020 Nov 3.


Recent reports have suggested that there may be dermatologic manifestations of COVID-19. We searched 12 databases for peer-reviewed or pre-print published studies until July 15, 2020, for this PRISMA-compliant review (CRD42020182050). We used the Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine Levels of Evidence to facilitate data synthesis. From 86 retrieved studies, we collated data on 2,560 patients with dermatologic manifestations of COVID-19. The most common findings were chilblains/pernio-like lesion (51.5%), erythematous maculopapular rashes (13.3%), and viral exanthem (7.7%). Average pediatric age was 12.9 years (SD 3.6) and adult was 34.2 years (SD 21.8). Average latency from time of upper respiratory illness symptoms to cutaneous findings was 1.5 days (SD 2.9) in children and 7.9 days (SD 10.7) in adults, ranging from -3 to 38 days. Roughly one-tenth in both populations were otherwise asymptomatic or presented with only skin findings for the entirety of the disease course; 13.3% (pediatrics) and 5.3% (adults) presented with skin issues first. Dermatologic findings may play an important role in identifying cases early and serve as an important proxy to manage spread. Further prospective data collection with international prospective registries is needed.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Skin Diseases / virology*