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Dermatomyositis

Rheumatology :: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis :: Osteoporosis ::
Psoriatic Arthritis:: Scleroderma :: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

What is dermatomyositis?

Myositis is the word used to describe a group of muscle diseases characterized by inflammation in the muscle tissues. When skin lesions such as typical rash on the face, knuckles are also present in addition to muscle weakness and inflammation, dermatomyositis is usually diagnosed.

Who develop dermatomyositis?

Dermatomyositis occurs in both children and adults in both genders. The disease usually occurs in middle-aged individuals.

What are the symptoms and signs of dermatomyositis?

The most common signs and symptoms of dermatomyositis include:

  • Skin changes. A violet-colored or dusky red rash develops, most commonly on the face and eyelids, on areas around nails, knuckles, elbows, knees, chest and back. The rash, which can be bluish-purple in color, is often the first sign of dermatomyositis
  • Muscle weakness. The weakness is symmetrical, i.e., it affects both the left and right sides of body with similar intensity, and tends to gradually worsen. The muscles closest to the trunk, such as hips, thighs, shoulders, upper arms and neck are typically involved.

Other dermatomyositis signs and symptoms that may occur include:

  • Difficulty swallowing (Dysphagia)
  • Muscle pain or tenderness
  • Fatigue, Fever and Weight loss
  • Hardened deposits of calcium under the skin (called ‘Calcinosis’)
  • Gastrointestinal ulcers and intestinal perforations
  • Lung problems

How is dermatomyositis treated?

Treatment of dermatomyositis involves team work involving rheumatologist, physician/pediatrician and physiotherapist. The therapy consists of immunosuppressive medications and supportive measures.

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