Dermatomyositis- Information, Treatment & Prevention

By: Juliet Cohen

Dermatomyositis an unusual sickness has been muscle-weakly-driven a clear by and distinctive skin breaking loose. The cause of dermatomyositis is unknown. It may be related to an autoimmune reaction, or may be triggered by a virus or cancer. Dermatomyositis may occur at any age, but it mostly affects adults in their late 40s to early 60s or children between 5 and 15 years of age. One of these diseases that's similar to dermatomyositis is polymyositis. Polymyositis leads to many of the same symptoms as dermatomyositis, but does not cause skin inflammation or a rash. Infections caused by bacteria, parasites or viruses can cause inflammatory myopathies, but in most cases. Small blood vessels in muscular tissue appear to be particularly affected. Inflammatory cells surround the blood vessels and eventually lead to degeneration of muscle fibers.

Dermatomyositis belongs to a group situation to be called excited myopathies. Many people with dermatomyositis show a detectable level of autoantibodies in their blood. Myopathies are diseases or abnormal conditions of the muscles. Women have dermatomyositis more often than men do. Dermatomyositis usually develops over weeks or months. People with dermatomyositis are more likely to develop malignant cancers. Patient management includes careful evaluation for underlying malignancy and liberal use of physical therapy, antihistamines, sunscreen and oral corticosteroids. In adults, death may result from severe and prolonged muscle weakness, malnutrition, pneumonia, or lung failure. The outcome is usually worse if the heart or lungs are involved. Dermatomyositis may affect people of any race, age or sex.

A purple-coloured red eruption or sinks most generally occurs on the face, eyelids, and the sectors around the nails, rubs them with the fist, of the elbows, the knees, cases and back. Affected areas are typically more sensitive to sun exposure. The skin rash usually occurs at the same time as muscle weakness, but may precede muscle weakness by a few weeks. Progressive muscle weakness may be occurs particularly in the muscles closest to the trunk, such as those in the hips, thighs, shoulders, upper arms and neck. This weakness is symmetrical, affecting both the left and right sides of your body. Sometimes, the skin rash alone determines the diagnosis. In some children with dermatomyositis, the skin may become thick and hard in a way similar to scleroderma. Some people with dermatomyositis develop a rash without muscle weakness. This is called dermatomyositis sine myositis.

Dermatomyositis is diagnosed through a thorough physical exam and the characteristic symptoms. Treatments can improve your skin and your muscle strength and function. Treatment begun early in the disease process tends to be more effective, often because there are fewer complications. Corticosteroids, especially prednisone, are usually the first choice in treating inflammatory myopathies, such as dermatomyositis. Other immunosuppressive drugs, such as azathioprine (Imuran) or methotrexate (Rheumatrex) may be used. Over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), can be used to treat any accompanying pain. Surgery may be an option to remove painful calcium deposits. Other patients may respond well to intravenous immune globulin. Dermatomyositis often improves with treatment of malignant tumors.

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