The video was made at an early stage of the coronavirus pandemic, with the proposition proving to be essentially correct.
Recent research published in the British Journal of Dermatology confirms that Covid toe is a side effect of our body attacking the virus. The researchers feel they have identified areas of the immune system involved.
As suggested in the video, these include interferon, together with antibodies which mistakenly attack normal cells and tissues, alongside the virus. Cells which line blood vessels appear to have a particular vulnerability.
Further research is needed but the probability is that similar mechanisms are at work regarding the rashes seen with Covid infection. This does not mean that the virus can have an infinite effect on our skin.
Understanding Covid outcomes helps us to develop better treatments for symptoms. The relationship between the virus and skin conditions can however lead to misunderstanding, as is the case with skin cancer.
Initial infection does not cause skin cancer, neither does long Covid. The same applies to all stages of infection, from day one to however long this lasts for you, Covid-19 does not cause skin cancer.
In a small percentage of cases, there could be a link in the other direction. If you have serious skin cancer and are being treated with radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, this can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to the virus.
The skin problems associated with Covid-19 are in a sense due to the opposite, your immune system is over stimulated. Neither do we know the extent to which Covid-19 may lower the immune system in a small percentage of patients.
Even where reduced immunity might occur, from infection, or lifestyle changes during the pandemic, this would not be a specific cause of skin cancer. Neither is infection the primary cause of failing to have skin cancer treated.
Access & Personal Choice
The pandemic has led to significant reductions in non urgent medical visits, due to reduced facilities and individual choice. As our previous post, don’t be a casualty highlighted, a decision to avoid medical facilities is understandable but often misplaced.
As with other cancers, skin cancer has not been changed by the pandemic. This is a condition caused by sun exposure, or more rarely by genetic variations, also one which requires early diagnosis and treatment.
If you spot a problem on your skin, visiting an experienced dermatologist is important. Precautions at good clinics during the pandemic are sound, they are safe places, not least those which specialise in skin cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Please do not be deflected by myths of unsafe visits, or imagined causes. If you have cancer of any form, you could have a higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19 but this should not be twisted around to Covid causing cancer.
In the same way that getting outside and taking walks, or taking part in other physical activity matters during the pandemic, so does health care when needed.