Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Dermatomyositis Overview

What is dermatomyositis?
A person with dermatomyositis has inflammation of the muscles and the skin that results in muscle weakness, muscle pain, joint pain and a rash. Dermatomyositis is uncommon and the cause is unknown. Experts believe it is an autoimmune disease where the immune system may mistakenly attack normal muscle and skin.

What are the symptoms of dermatomyositis?
Symptoms of dermatomyositis include body aches, muscle weakness, muscle swelling, rash, joint pain, and joint swelling. Less common symptoms of dermatomyositis include difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

How does the doctor treat dermatomyositis?
Treatment for dermatomyositis may include an exercise plan, physical therapy, avoidance of sun exposure, oral corticosteroids, topical medications, and medications that suppress the immune system. Most people respond to treatment, but some experience long-standing muscle weakness.

Continue to Dermatomyositis Incidence

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Dermatomyositis References
  1. Ghate J, Katsambas A, Augerinou G, Jorizzo JL. Review article: a therapeutic update on dermatomyositis/polymyositis. Int J Dermatol. 2000 Feb;39(2):81-7. N[1069205]
  2. Peloro TM, Miller OF 3rd, Hahn TF, Newman ED. Juvenile dermatomyositis: a retrospective review of a 30-year experience. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2001 Jul;45(1):28-34. [11423831]
  3. Peretz B. Juvenile dermatomyositis: literature review and report of a case. Compend Contin Educ Dent. 2001 Oct;22(10):858-62, 864. [11915635]
  4. Yang Y, Fujita J, Tokuda M, et al. Clinical features of polymyositis/dermatomyositis associated with silicosis and a review of the literature. Rheumatol Int. 2001 Aug;20(6):235-8. [11563582]
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