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Difference Between Covid Toes and Gout

Covid toes are a problem that arises in some people who have Covid; it is a condition in which the toes become swollen and red. Gout is a problem that happens when urate is deposited in the joints of the toes and feet.

What is Covid Toes?

Definition:

Covid toes are when people who have the coronavirus start to experience swelling in their toes, and the toes also often appear reddish in color.

Causes:

Scientists believe that Covid toes occur in about 20% of people who have the virus and that it is because of chemicals released during the inflammation process. During inflammation, various chemicals are secreted from cells of the immune system that impact structures in the body; the presence of the coronavirus in the body elicits such a response in infected people.

Symptoms and diagnosis:

Red, itchy, painful, and enlarged toes are common in people who have Covid toes, and occasionally fingers are also affected, becoming swollen and red similar to the toes. Doctors make the diagnosis by appearance of the toes and positive Covid status of the person.

Treatment:

There isn’t a specific way to treat Covid toes and the condition goes away once the person recovers from the viral infection.

What is Gout?

Definition:

Gout is a disorder in which crystals of monosodium urate end up being deposited in joints of the body, particularly joints of the toes and feet.

Causes:

Gout is thought to develop from a combination of both inherited factors and environmental risk factors such as drinking alcohol. Genes that code for proteins of the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway are believed to also play some role in the development of gout.

Symptoms and diagnosis:

Symptoms include painful joints including joints of the toes, ankle, and feet. Joints become swollen, reddish in color, and painful. Urate crystals can form painful nodules and even lead to kidney stone development. The diagnosis is based on physical exam and confirmed by microscopy of fluid from the joints in which urates are detected.

Treatment:

The pain of gout can be treated using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; medications  such as febuxostat can be prescribed and taken to lower the urates in the bloodstream. A change in diet may also be helpful for people suffering from gout since purines (a substance found in high concentrations in certain foods) can aggravate gout. For instance, grain liquors and red meat contain high amounts of purine, and thus should be avoided.

Difference between Covid Toes and Gout

Definition

Covid toes are an issue where a person who is infected with the Covid-19 virus develops red and swollen toes. Gout is a problem in which the body accumulates deposits of urate crystals in joints, especially of the toes and feet.

Causes

The main cause of Covid toes is thought to be a result of inflammation of the body to the Covid-19 virus. The specific cause of gout is believed to result from a combination of certain inherited genes and environmental factors.

Diagnosis

Covid toes are diagnosed by a doctor noting the physical appearance of the toes in a person who is infected with the coronavirus. Gout is diagnosed by a physical exam and then by examining the fluid from a joint and noting the presence of urate crystals.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Covid toes include swollen toes that are reddish in color. The symptoms of got include swollen toe joints that may be red in color and painful. 

Treatment

No treatment is recommended for Covid toes since the condition goes away on its own once the person recovers from the infection. Treatment for gout includes a change in diet to reduce purine intake and also taking anti-inflammatory medicine and medicine such as febuxostat.

Table comparing Covid Toes and Gout

Summary of Covid Toes Vs. Gout

  • Covid toes and gout are both conditions that impact the toes causing discomfort.
  • Covid toes is really a response to the person’s immune system causing inflammation due to exposure to the coronavirus.
  • Gout is related to deposits of urates in various joints of the toes, feet, and ankle.

FAQ

What are the organs most affected by COVID‐19?

The lungs are the most affected organ when it comes to Covid-19 because the alveoli in the lungs have the most receptors for the virus to bind to.

Can the COVID-19 survive in drinking water?

Researchers have suggested it is conceivable that Covid-19 can survive in drinking water based on research conducted on similar viruses.

How long is a person with COVID-19 contagious before showing symptoms?

A person who has become infected can be contagious at least one to two days before there are any symptoms of the illness present.

Can you infect others with COVID-19 even if you are not showing symptoms?

Yes, it is now recognized that people who are asymptomatic can and do transmit the virus to other people before any symptoms are present or noticeable.

How long should I self-quarantine if I have been exposed to COVID-19?

After exposure to the virus, it is recommended that you self-quarantine for 14 days as it can take this long to develop symptoms of the illness.

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References :


[0]Cappel, Mark A., Jonathan A. Cappel, and David A. Wetter. "Pernio (Chilblains), SARS-CoV-2, and COVID Toes Unified Through Cutaneous and Systemic Mechanisms." Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Elsevier, 2021.

[1]Casanova, Lisa, et al. "Survival of surrogate coronaviruses in water." Water research 43.7 (2009): 1893-1898.

[2]Edwards, N Lawrence. “Gout”. Merckmanuals. Merck & Co., 2018, https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/crystal-induced-arthritides/gout

[3]Image credit: http://images.gmanews.tv/webpics/2020/08/Covid_fingerd_and_toes_2020_08_14_09_53_29.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gout_Comparison.jpg

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