According to the European Medicines Agency, more than one in ten people have reported side effects from the Covid-19 vaccine. While many suffer from headaches, fever or pain at the injection site, some have also developed skin symptoms. We take stock of the situation.
Covid-19 vaccine: rare skin condition in some patients
A recent study published in the International Journal of Dermatology has revealed what appears to be a new adverse reaction to the Covid-19 vaccine. According to research by Turkish scientists, several vaccinated patients have developed a rare skin condition called bullous pemphigoid.
What is bullous pemphigoid?
Bullous pemphigoid is a skin disease characterised by the appearance of bullae (or blisters), usually large, on reddened skin (resembling hives or eczema), reports the French Society of Dermatology. The number of bullae present on the skin varies from one individual to another. Sometimes there may be none at all, which complicates the diagnosis. Patients with this disease also suffer from itching.
Bullous pemphigoid is an autoimmune disease, which means that, like all autoimmune diseases, it is related to “the abnormal production by the body of antibodies directed against itself,” explains the SFD. This phenomenon mainly affects the skin, especially the body and limbs, and more rarely the face. The disease can also affect the mucous membranes (oral and genital), but this occurs in less than 10% of cases. It is neither contagious nor hereditary.
This pathology mainly affects people over 70 years of age.
What is the link between bullous pemphigoid and the Covid-19 vaccine?
The research conducted by the Turkish scientists highlights the cases of seven people who developed bullous pemphigoid four to six weeks after receiving the first, second or third injection of the Covid-19 vaccine. It should be noted that these were older people.
Of the seven patients, four developed the disease for the first time. The other three had a recurrent episode after vaccination. “In two of the four cases of disease onset, bullous pemphigoid was observed after the second dose of inactivated CoronaVac virus. For the other two, it occurred after their third dose, for which they received a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,” the researchers say. Before adding: “The latency period of new bullous pemphigoid ranged from two weeks to one month after vaccination, while it was as short as one week after the first dose in one patient who presented with a post-vaccination exacerbation. According to the study, the patients’ skin condition improved with treatment.
However, the scientists are cautious. So far, they cannot establish a definitive link between the disease and the Covid-19 vaccines.
They believe that more research is needed.
If you are in any doubt about any symptoms, be sure to consult a health professional.
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