Omicron: The ’emergency warning signs’ to look for in your skin, lips and nails

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Omicron is the latest variant to wreak havoc around the world, with the fast-spreading mutation driving coronavirus figures up. Despite this, the World Health Organisation has said that milder symptoms have resulted in a “decoupling” between high case numbers and low death rates.

Many of the symptoms of Omicron were not previously detected in other variants of concern.

However, the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detected some serious symptoms of Omicron that could be an urgent “warning” for patients.

The CDC urges people to keep an eye out for colour changes in their skin, lips or nail beds.

According to the experts, pale, grey or blue-coloured skin in any of these areas may be an indication of low levels of oxygen in the blood.

The CDC describes these changes as “emergency warning signs”.

Should this occur, patients are advised to seek urgent medical attention.

However, there are some less worrying symptoms of Omicron that may also manifest in the skin.

A study from the ZOE symptom tracker app, which allows positive people to register symptoms they have experienced, found that skin rashes and sore eyes do occur.

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These symptoms are less common, however, with children more likely to experience skin rashes as a result of Omicron.

In particular, three specific types of rash have been detected.

The first is reportedly similar to prickly heat rash, forming in small areas and becoming itchy and bumpy to the touch.

The second type is similar to the raised bumps commonly associated with hives.

A proportion of people who have tested positive for the variant have also reported sore patches on their skin which are akin to chilblain.

These patches can be a shade of purple or red and may be raised.

Though skin changes can occur, they are still not among the most common symptoms of coronavirus.

Patients who experience skin changes, and think they may have COVID-19, are advised to take a lateral flow test.

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What are the most common symptoms of Omicron?

According to the ZOE app, there are five main symptoms of Omicron which are reported most frequently.

These include:

  • A “scratchy” or sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mild muscle aches

Other symptoms associated with Omicron include congestion, night sweats, a raised temperature and “brain fog”.

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