Dermatomyositis is an uncommon inflammatory disease characterized by muscle weakness and a distinctive skin rash. The exact cause of dermatomyositis is still unknown, but it is considered an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body tissues. The most common signs and symptoms include a violet-colored or dusky red rash on the face, eyelids, knuckles, elbows, knees, chest, and back and muscle weakness in the hips, thighs, shoulders, upper arms, and neck. Medications used to treat dermatomyositis include corticosteroids, corticosteroid-sparing agents, Rituximab antimalarial medications, and sunscreens.

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Apart from medications, what other treatment options are available for dermatomyositis?

Query: Hello doctor,I have recently been diagnosed with dermatomyositis. I have attached my report. Please inspect and kindly help, doctor.   Read Full »

Dr. Ashaq Hussain Parrey

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I read your query and can understand your concern. I reviewed your report (attachments removed to protect the patient's identity). We generally diagnose dermatomyositis with five things. Muscle weakness Elevated LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) and CPK (creatine phos...  Read Full »

My daughter is suffering from dermatomyositis and shows elevated CPK levels. What is the time required for remission in such cases?

Query: Hello doctor, My daughter has been suffering from dermatomyositis for one year, which was identified with the help of a blood test and creatinine phosphokinase test. The treatment started, and she was examined after a month, and this time her creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) level was 10413 units per ...  Read Full »

Dr. Mohamad Ali Rida

Answer: Hello. Welcome to From the reports attached (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), I can see that her creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) level has improved and is almost normal. This is mainly due to high-dose Prednisone and IVIG (intravenous immune globulin). Her current...  Read Full »

Can I have lymphoma, kidney diseases, and eye problems due to secondary Sjogren's syndrome?

Query: Hello doctor, I have had dermatomyositis for three years and was asked to take tablet Cellcept. Before being diagnosed with dermatomyositis, I developed dry eye disease due to meibomian gland dysfunction. After taking the medicines, I had dryness in my mouth. I tested negative for anti-SSA Ro and an...  Read Full »

Dr. Mohamad Ali Rida

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Do not worry, as you are receiving the best treatment for dermatomyositis. Secondary Sjogren's syndrome is a very common autoimmune disease. Being on tablet Cellcept (Mycophenolate mofetil 500 mg) is more than enough to prevent complications of Sjogren's syndrome. Yo...  Read Full »

Is it necessary to get an MRI for checking liver lesions in a patient with amyopathic dermatomyositis?

Query: Hi doctor, I was just diagnosed with amyopathic dermatomyositis, and I have been put through a lot of cancer screenings as this does not run in my family. All tests are normal, except regular ultrasound of the abdomen showed two non-specific liver lesions up to 3.2 cm. The previous CT scan of the a...  Read Full »

Dr. Sadaf Mustafa

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Usually, non-specific liver lesions are mentioned as hemangiomas. CT scan without contrast would not pick them that easily, they may have been present then. Even if hemangiomas were not there, they may have developed over time and are benign. Having said that, it is ...  Read Full »

The biopsy of my skin rash showed interface dermatitis with mucin. Do I have lupus?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 43 year old female, and I have had itchy, red, and burning rashes. It all started as a few bumps on my right arm, above my eyebrow, right upper nose area, all over the jaw and chin area, right chest and upper back react badly to the sun, and it is getting worse. I have had a l...  Read Full »

Dr. Naval Mendiratta

Answer: Hello, Welcome to The rashes that you are describing along with the biopsy findings can go in favor of a connective tissue disease. Although, I would like to see the reports in detail, but as you mentioned interface dermatitis, it goes more in favor of lupus over dermatomyositis. But, w...  Read Full »

Why do I get joint pain, rashes, dry mouth and eyes, bruises along with fever?

Query: Hi doctor, I have had a fever for over a year now. I have joint pain in wrists and awaiting ultrasound guided steroid injections. I have three deformed fingers, premature ventricular contractions, shortness of breath, chest pain, upper back pain, neck stiffness, cracking and pain. I have dry mouth,...  Read Full »

Dr. Naval Mendiratta

Answer: Hi doctor, Welcome to Well, it does look like you are having an autoimmune problem. But, the type of rash, puffy fingers, rash over the knuckles and fever does warrant us that we should evaluate you further. Secondly the dry eyes, dry mouth and choking. That is a bit of concern as we ne...  Read Full »

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