Dermatomyositis

(Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathy)

Definition

Dermatomyositis is swelling and redness of muscle and skin.

Causes

The exact cause of dermatomyositis is not known. It may be an autoimmune disorder. The immune system identifies and attacks viruses and harmful bacteria in your body. An autoimmune disorder means the immune system begins to attack normal, healthy tissue.A viral infection may trigger dermatomyositis.

Risk Factors

Your chance of developing dermatomyositis is higher if you have an autoimmune disorder such as:Dermatomyositis is also associated with certain genes.

Symptoms

Dermatomyositis may cause:
  • Skin changes such as:
    • Violet-colored, bumpy, or scaly skin rash, especially around the eyes, upper back, elbows, or knuckles
    • Itching, especially the scalp
    • Sensitivity to sunlight
    • Nail changes
    • Skin nodules
  • Muscle problems such as:
    • Weakness especially in hips, thighs, arms or neck
    • Aching pain in legs, shoulder, arm, or neck
    • Tender muscles
    • Difficulty swallowing and speaking
  • Aching and color changes in fingers, especially in cold temperatures
  • Joint pain
  • Shortness of breath

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a specialist for further evaluation.Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with: Your muscles may be tested. This can be done with electromyogram (EMG). Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Skin Biopsy
Skin proceedure
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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