Oro-facial mucocutaneous manifestations of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19): A systematic review

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We reviewed the prevalence, the likely aetiopathogenesis, and the management of orofacial mucocutaneous manifestations of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus -2 (SARS-CoV-2). English language manuscripts searched using standard databases yielded 26 articles that met the inclusion criteria. In total, 169 cases (75 females; 94 males) from 15 countries with a spectrum of COVID-19 severities were reviewed. Gustatory perturbations were prevalent in over 70%. Mucocutaneous manifestations were reported predominantly on the tongue, palate, buccal mucosa, gingivae, and lips and included ulcers, blisters, erosions, papillary hyperplasia, macules, glossitis, and mucositis. Ulcerative lesions, present in over 50 percent, were the most common oral manifestation. Lesions resembling candidal infections, with burning mouth, were prevalent in 19%. Petechiae and angina bullosa were generally seen, subsequent to COVID-19 therapies, in 11%. Ulcerated, necrotic gingivae were documented in severely ill with poor oral hygiene. These manifestations, present across the COVID-19 disease spectrum, were commonly associated with the immunosuppressed state and/ or the concurrent antimicrobial/steroidal therapies. In summary, a wide variety of orofacial mucocutaneous lesions manifest in COVID-19. They are likely to be secondary to the disease-associated immune impairment and/or pharmaco-therapy rather than a direct result of SARS-CoV-2 infection per se.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0265531
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6 June
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


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