Skin Manifestations Associated with COVID-19: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives

Dermatology. 2021;237(1):1-12. doi: 10.1159/000512932. Epub 2020 Nov 24.


Background: Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is an ongoing global pandemic caused by the "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" (SARS-CoV-2), which was isolated for the first time in Wuhan (China) in December 2019. Common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, dyspnea and hypogeusia/hyposmia. Among extrapulmonary signs associated with COVID-19, dermatological manifestations have been increasingly reported in the last few months.

Summary: The polymorphic nature of COVID-19-associated cutaneous manifestations led our group to propose a classification, which distinguishes the following six main clinical patterns: (i) urticarial rash, (ii) confluent erythematous/maculopapular/morbilliform rash, (iii) papulovesicular exanthem, (iv) chilblain-like acral pattern, (v) livedo reticularis/racemosa-like pattern, (vi) purpuric "vasculitic" pattern. This review summarizes the current knowledge on COVID-19-associated cutaneous manifestations, focusing on clinical features and therapeutic management of each category and attempting to give an overview of the hypothesized pathophysiological mechanisms of these conditions.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cutaneous manifestations; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrodermatitis / pathology
  • Acrodermatitis / virology*
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • Exanthema / pathology
  • Exanthema / virology*
  • Humans
  • Livedo Reticularis / pathology
  • Livedo Reticularis / virology
  • Patient Acuity
  • Purpura / pathology
  • Purpura / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Urticaria / pathology
  • Urticaria / virology*