Dermatomyositis occurs if polymyositis which is an inflammatory muscle ailment involving the skin. If an individual has this condition, the eyes might be bordered by a violet mark with puffiness.
There is reddened, scaly skin over the elbows, knuckles and knees. Additionally, a reddened rash might form on the neck, face and upper chest. Hardened lumps of calcium deposits might form in the fatty skin layer.
What are the causes?
Among those with dermatomyositis and polymyositis, the immune system ceases to function properly and starts to attack the healthy tissues. The factors responsible for this process are not known.
What are the signs?
The indications of dermatomyositis tend to vary from one individual to another. Some individuals might have the condition for months or even years before displaying any signs. In some instances, the muscle weakness might manifest at the same time with the rash or take weeks, months or even years after.
Other usual symptoms that might arise include:
- Reddened or bluish-purple patches, usually on body parts exposed to the sun
- Ragged cuticles with evident blood vessels on the nail folds
- Purple-colored spots on the body prominences especially the knuckles
- Reddened rash on the neck, faces, upper chest, shoulders and elbows
- Discoloration with swelling around the eyes
Management of dermatomyositis
The treatment for dermatomyositis is started with steroid drugs such as prednisone. In some cases, immunosuppresants might be given for cases that do not respond to prednisone.
Further treatment with intravenously-administered immunoglobulin might be carried out. This works by slowing down the autoimmune response. In addition, physical therapy can help preserve muscular function and prevent muscle wasting.