Dermatomyositis

by Sam Malone


Dermamyositis (DM) is an uncommon acquired muscle disease where skin lesions typically stem out first with weak muscles occurring later. It's a type of inflammatory myopathy. It's associated with the skin signs that go with the swollen muscle of dermatomyositis. Dermatomyositis is also regarded one of the connective tissue disorder like systemic sclerosis and lupus erythematosus. The cause is not known. Experts conjectured that this might be caused by a viral infection of the muscles. It might also be due to a problem with the body's immune system. Almost anybody can have dermatomyositis. But this usually occurs in more women than men. Children aged 5 to 15 are not spared of this disease. In them, this is called juvenile dermatomyositis. In children skin changes around the eyelids and on the knuckles and is also seen on finger joints.

There's no known cure for dermatomyositis but weakness of the muscles can be treated. Skin can be improved as well as muscle resistance and utility. Early detection and treatment will prove effective due to lesser complications. The disease is normally treated with anti-inflammatory medicines like corticosteroids and drugs that keep in check the immune system to restrain production of anti-bodies while it lessens skin and muscle inflammation. However, most patients with this condition are prescribed a medicine called prednisone for a period of time. But most cases of dermatomyositis react to therapy. Physical therapy is aimed at averting hardening of the muscles and contractures. This is true for patients with muscle involvement.

As in most cases of muscular disorder exercises will prove helpful. With the assistance of a physical therapist exercises are programmed to sustain and improve resistance and elasticity of the muscles. He will also advise on the right degree of activity. But as you go along the healing process, the program will have slight changes. Staying alive and kicking and pacing yourself will help in sustaining muscle resistance. But surgery may be an option to take out calcium deposits. This is because some patients develop hardened bumps of calcium under skin. Treatment is done to what is appropriate to the patient according to his or her requirement.

Sometimes coping with dermatomyositis can be difficult. It is not easy though but you never can tell how well you can cope. Educate yourself. Know fully well what the disease is all about. Make yourself available to the team of experts who are trying to help you. Be kind to yourself. Exercise.

Take hot baths and do some stretching. Use sunscreen on affected areas of you skin when under the heat of the sun. Don't tire yourself. Use as much as possible electric appliances, power tools and other helpful gadgets. Emotions run high during an illness. Cry if you must. Stay with a support group like your family and close friends. Even in the midst of all of these, take time to enjoy yourself. After all treatments are there to prevent disability.


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