Dermatomyositis may occur at any age, but is most common in adults in their late 40s to early 60s, or children between 5 and 15 years of age. There is no cure for dermatomyositis, but the symptoms can be treated. Options include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy (including microwave and ultrasound), orthotics and assistive devices, and rest. The cause of dermatomyositis is unknown.Dermatomyositis is one of a group of acquired muscle diseases called inflammatory myopathies (disorder of muscle tissue or muscles), which are characterized by chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness. The cardinal symptom is a skin rash that precedes or accompanies progressive muscle weakness.
Last updated: 8/26/2013
- NINDS Dermatomyositis Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). August 2011; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/dermatomyositis/dermatomyositis.htm. Accessed 8/26/2013.
- Dermatomyositis. MayoClinic.com. July 2011; http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/dermatomyositis/DS00335/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print. Accessed 8/26/2013.
- Moskowitz RJ. Dermatomyositis. MedlinePlus. February 2011; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000839.htm. Accessed 8/26/2013.
- MayoClinic.com provides information about dermatomyositis. Click on the link above to access this information.
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- Koler RA, Montemarano A. Dermatomyositis. American Family Physician. 2001; 64: 1565-72. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/20011101/1565.html. Accessed November 4, 2009.