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Clinical Patterns and Morphology of COVID-19 Dermatology


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an emergent disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly spread throughout the globe since its discovery in December 2019. Although first appreciated to cause pneumonia, numerous organ systems are now known to be involved. The objective of this article is to review the broad spectrum of cutaneous manifestations reported in association with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The most commonly reported cutaneous manifestations associated with COVID-19 infection include pernio (chilblain)-like acral lesions, morbilliform (exanthematous) rash, urticaria, vesicular (varicella-like) eruptions, and vaso-occlusive lesions (livedo racemosa, retiform purpura). It is important to consider SARS-CoV-2 infection in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with these lesions in the appropriate clinical context, as cutaneous manifestations may be present in otherwise asymptomatic individuals, or present before developing other symptoms of infection. With increased access to diagnostic testing, we are beginning to understand the utility and limitations of currently available assays.

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