Uncomfortable changes to the tongue, hands or feet could be early warning signs of a coronavirus infection, according to a Spanish study.
The research, presented Tuesday, revealed that one in four patients noticed swelling of the tongue, and four in 10 reported a burning sensation on the palms of their hands or soles of their feet.
The unusual changes in the tongue — dubbed “COVID tongue” by researchers — includes transient lingual papillitis, or inflammation of the small bumps on the surface of the tongue, and glossitis, which causes the tongue to swell and change color.
Other symptoms of COVID tongue can also appear as ulcers or a patchy, white coating on the tongue, according to the study.
Additionally, many coronavirus patients also experienced a burning sensation and redness on the palms of their hands or soles of their feet — followed at times by the appearance of small blemishes, the study noted.
The research was conducted among 666 COVID-19 patients at Madrid’s IFEMA field hospital, which was set up during the first wave of the pandemic.
Health care professionals from Madrid’s La Paz hospital and primary care services conducted the study in April, and the findings were published as a “research letter” in the British Journal of Dermatology in September.
“Almost half of patients with mild‐to‐moderate COVID‐19 admitted in a field‐hospital during a two‐week period showed mucocutaneous findings,” the researchers wrote.
“The oral cavity was frequently involved and deserves specific examination under appropriate circumstances to avoid contagion risk.”
With Post wires