Skin conditions could be one of the first signs of coronavirus infection, according to a new medical study.

The study found chilblains, rashes and hives could all be indicators that an individual has contracted Covid-19.

Scientists also believe these skin reactions could occur before the usual symptoms of Covid, such as a cough and loss of taste, become apparent.

The study took place at the Salamanca Clinic in Madrid.

The research, which was recently published in The American Journal of Surgical Pathology, saw two medical centres contribute 25 samples from patients between 7 and 13 and 28 and 83 years of age during the first wave of the pandemic.

According to Madrid Metropolitan the hospital said: "Five different types of skin manifestations were registered of which 11 were acroischemic lesions or chilblains, nine exanthemas or rashes, two palpable purpura processes, one hives-like rash, and two non-specific."

The research also found the existence of the virus in endothelial cells can activate "mechanisms that trigger the inflammation that causes dermatological lesions".

Researchers said most of the skin lesions were found on the feet and lower extremities of the body.

There were however some isolated cases where they were found on the hands.

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Researchers did not find any correlation between skin problems and "the severity of the respiratory condition derived from the infection".

All of those who took part in the study showed symptoms of Covid-19 at the time their sample was taken.

However, only nine of the 25 cases were confirmed by a PCR test.

The researchers suggest early detection of these skin problems “can alert in some cases to SARS-CoV-2 disease and thus prevent the spread of the virus.”

In previous studies scientists have found some who suffer from the virus can develop chilblain-like inflammation in their feet which could last for months.

The condition, called Covid toes, typically develops within a week to four weeks of being infected with coronavirus.

Research by the International League of Dermatological Societies and the American Academy of Dermatology found symptoms are mostly mild and feet return to normal within weeks.

But scientists have discovered about one in six people require hospital treatment, whilst some of those with 'long COVID' symptoms report cases lasting for several months.