What is dermatomyositis?
It is a rare inflammatory disease characterized as skin rash and muscle weakness. It targets both the children and adults, however commonly observed between the ages of 40-60 in adults and between the ages of 5-15 in children. Females are more likely to develop dermatomyositis than males.
Clearly, the disease is incurable, though remission periods can occur. Its treatment helps an individual recuperate muscle function and clear the rash.
What are the symptoms of dermatomyositis?
Few common symptoms include:
- Progressive muscle weakness: it involves certain muscles near to your trunk for example the ones in your upper arms, neck, shoulders, thighs, and hips. Moreover, weakness tends to affect both your right and left body sides, worsening gradually.
- Skin changes: dusky red or violet colored rash occurs, usually on the eyelids and face. Additionally, on the areas around the nails, back, chest, knees, elbows and knuckles. Often, the rash is the initial symptoms of dermatomyositis.
When is the high time to see a doctor?
In case of developing unexplained rash or muscle weakness, immediately call your doctor for an appointment.
What causes dermatomyositis?
What exactly causes dermatomyositis, remains a mystery till date, however it shares numerous characteristics with the autoimmune disorders wherein the body’s immune system wrongly attacks the body tissues.
What are the possible complications of dermatomyositis?
Few complications the disease may lead in the future are:
- Breathing problems.
- Aspiration pneumonia.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Calcium deposits in the calcinosis, skin and muscles.
A person with dermatomyositis is at a higher risk to develop the following conditions:
- Raynaud’s phenomenon.
- Connective tissue diseases for example Sjogren’s syndrome, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
- Lung disease.
- Cardiovascular disease.
How is dermatomyositis diagnosed?
In order to diagnose the disease, the doctor may need complete details about your symptoms. Moreover, he will be suggesting the following tests:
- Chest X-ray.
- Blood analysis.
- Magnetic resonance imaging.
- Muscle or skin biopsy.
How is dermatomyositis treated?
Clearly speaking, dermatomyositis is incurable; however its treatment can greatly help improving your muscle’s function and skin appearance. Early treatment of dermatomyositis can help make its treatment more effective. Few treatment options your doctor will consider for treating the disease are:
- Corticosteroid-sparing agents.
- Antimalarial medication.
- Depending upon the symptom’s severity, the doctor can recommend therapy:
- Speech therapy.
- Physical therapy.
- Dietetic assessment.
- Surgical/other prodecures:
- Intravenous immunoglobulin.
Your symptoms and their response to the therapy will help your doctor prepare an effective treatment plan.
- The affected skin linked with dermatomyositis is more sensitive to the harmful UV rays. Thus, it is very important to protect your skin before coming in contact with sunlight. Cover your affected skin by means of protective clothing. Moreover, ask your doctor to recommend a high-protection sun cream. Avoid prolonged sun exposure.
- Use a mild soap on your affected skin.
By : Natural Health News