* Connective-tissue disease
* Causes inflammation of muscle and skin
* Muscle weakness
* Purple-red skin rash, often involving the eyelids
Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune disease with inflammation of the skin and muscle tissue. People who suffer from Dermatomyositis may experience muscle weakness, which may appear suddenly or develop slowly over weeks or months. Sufferers may have difficulty raising their arms over their head, rising from a sitting position, or climbing stairs. The rash may appear over the face, knuckles, neck, shoulders, upper chest, and back.
It is an uncommon to rare disease. It is usually chronic, however periods of spontaneous remission may occur. Treatment will also remedy muscle weakness and improve rash.
Causes include a genetic predisposition, autoimmunity defects, or an underlying cancer (especially in the elderly). Certain drugs may also trigger Dermatomyositis, such as Hydroxyurea, Penicillamine, Statins, Quinidine, and others. Juvenile Dermatomyositis occurs in children less than 18 years of age. In addition to the typical rash, children usually have hard white bumps of calcinosis in their skin. Juvenile DM is not associated with malignancy in most cases.
Differential Diagnosis (Other conditions with similar appearance)
*Blood test and skin biopsy
Diagnosis is determined by blood tests
* Oral corticosteroids such as prednisone
* Immunosuppressive or cytotoxic drugs
* Diltiazem or Colchicine
* Avoid excessive sun
* Bedrest for inflammation
Treatment is given to control the skin and muscle disease. An oral corticosteroid (Prednisone) is the most frequent form of treatment
Treatment for many patients is lifelong