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Dermatomyositis - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Mar 01, 2022 and last reviewed on Mar 18, 2022   -  5 min read


Dermatomyositis is a condition affecting skin and muscles. Read this article to know more about its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.



Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory condition. If inflammation occurs in response to any trauma, it is considered a usual phenomenon. But, in inflammatory disorders, the body's immune mechanism is known to act against the tissues of the individual. This creates a negative response to swelling and body pain. Some people might even experience stiffness, muscle weakness, and prolonged pain. There is no specific treatment for dermatomyositis. However, it is possible to relieve the symptoms to an extent. The skin rashes can also be cured and therapy can be given for improving muscle functions and strength.

What Is Dermatomyositis?

In medical terms, ‘derma’ refers to the skin, and ‘myo’ refers to the muscle. Myositis is the inflammatory condition of the muscles. This condition is known to affect all the age groups. The most common age group that are affected are people who belong to the late 40s and early 60s. The female gender is known to be affected more than the male. There is no specific reason for this. But, some reports show that it might be due to the poor stamina women have compared to men.

What Are the Causes of Dermatomyositis?

The condition of dermatomyositis occurs for an unknown reason. People who are known to be affected by autoimmune disorders have the possibility of getting this condition. Genetic influence can also be the cause of dermatomyositis. In some patients, the reason for dermatomyositis is the influence of environmental factors. The environmental factors include the following:

What Are the Symptoms of Dermatomyositis?

In several cases, the initial sign is a distinctive skin rash on the face, chest, eyelids, knuckles, nail cuticle areas, elbows, or knees. The rashes will be in the form of patchy and usually in bluish-purple color.

Patients might also experience muscle weakness that gets more serious over weeks or months. This muscle weakness usually starts in your neck, hips, or arms and can be experienced on both sides of your body.

Other sign and symptoms that the patient might experience are:

What Are the Complications of Dermatomyositis?

The skin problems and muscle weakness linked with dermatomyositis can cause numerous issues. Some of the typical complications involved in dermatomyositis are:

If any of these problems have already occurred in the patient, the severity is known to increase after the occurrence of dermatomyositis. In children, deposition of calcium is known to occur as a complication.

What Is the Diagnostic Procedure to Identify Dermatomyositis?

The initial diagnosis of dermatomyositis starts with a patient's physical examination and medical history. The health care provider or doctor will first ensure the presence of underlying diseases such as cancer. Several tests are involved in diagnosing dermatomyositis, such as:

What Are the Treatment Options?

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Last reviewed at:
18 Mar 2022  -  5 min read




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