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 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.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Dermatomyositis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
- 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.