Dermatomyositis – What is it, Causes, Symptoms and Treatments that many ignore. In addition, dermatomyositis (dur-muh-toe-my-uh-sy-tis) is an uncommon inflammatory disease marked by muscle weakness and a distinctive rash. The condition can affect adults and children.
In adults, the disease usually occurs from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. In children, most often appears between 5 and 15 years of age. Dermatomyositis affects more women than males.
There is no cure for this condition, but periods of symptom improvement (remission) may occur. Treatment can clear the rash and help you regain muscle strength and function .
Causes of Dermatomyositis:
The cause of dermatomyositis is unknown, but the disease has much in common with autoimmune disorders, where your immune system mistakenly attacks your body tissues.
Small blood vessels in muscle tissue are particularly affected in dermatomyositis . Inflammatory cells surround the blood vessels and eventually lead to the destruction of muscle fibers .
The most common signs and symptoms of dermatomyositis include:
Changes in the skin . An obscene or violet rash develops, most commonly on the face and eyelids and on the knuckles, elbows, knees, chest and back. The rash, which can be itchy and painful, is often the first sign of the disease.Dermatomyositis Causes
Muscle weakness . Progressive muscle weakness involves the muscles closest to the trunk, such as those in the hips , thighs , shoulders, upper arms, and neck . Weakness affects the left and right sides of your body and tends to get worse gradually.
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How to Treat Dermatomyositis:
Dermatomyositis is treated according to the symptoms presented by the patients, but in most cases it includes the use of:
Corticosteroids like Prednisone, as they reduce inflammation in the body;
Immunosuppressants such as Methotrexane, Azathioprine, Mycophenolate or Cyclophosphamide, to decrease the immune system response ;
Remedies for malaria, such as hydroxychloroquine, are useful for relieving dermatological symptoms, such as light sensitivity, for example.
These drugs are usually taken in high doses and over prolonged periods and have the action of reducing the inflammatory process and reducing the symptoms of the disease. When these remedies do not work, another option is to administer immunoglobulin in a patient’s vein.
It is also possible to have physical therapy sessions , which help in improving muscle symptoms , preventing paralysis and avoiding permanent muscle damage or joint stiffness.
When the disease is associated with cancer, the most appropriate treatment is to treat cancer, often causing the signs and symptoms of the disease to disappear.