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The Wall Street Journal: There may be a silver lining for Aaron Rodgers and his painful ‘COVID toe’

Aaron Rodgers on field during the first half of Green Bay’s road loss on Sunday to Minnesota.

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Since Aaron Rodgers returned to the field after testing positive for COVID-19, having sat out 10 days because he was unvaccinated, the star Green Bay Packers quarterback has been dealing with a mysterious and painful toe injury. 

After previously describing it in vague terms as a “COVID injury,” Rodgers confirmed what dermatologists had previously suspected. 

“No lingering effects, other than the COVID toe,” Rodgers said Tuesday on the Pat McAfee show. 

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COVID toe is a casual name for something medically known as pernio or chilblains, which is a condition that causes symptoms such as discoloration and lesions. It can be extremely painful and turn the toes purple. 

The shred of good news, when it comes to COVID toes, is that they’re a sign of the body’s strong immune response to the virus.  

“‘The best way to avoid COVID toes is to get vaccinated.’”

— Dr. Esther Freeman

Recent research, including an October study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, has found that COVID toes typically occur in younger patients who experience mild symptoms. The problem is that, when the body produces too much of a type of interferon, it can create other problems—and produce Covid Toes. 

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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