Dermatomyositis

Definition of Dermatomyositis

Dermatomyositis is a muscle disease characterized by inflammation and a skin rash. It is a type of inflammatory myopathy.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The cause of dermatomyositis is unknown. Experts think it may be due to a viral infection of the muscles or a problem with the body’s immune system.

Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam. Tests may include:

Treatment

The disease is treated with anti-inflammatory medicines called corticosteroids and drugs that suppress the immune system.

Expectations (prognosis)

Some people may recover and have symptoms completely disappear. Doctors have reported several such cases, especially in children.

Review

Jonathan Kantor, MD, North Florida Dermatology Associates, Jacksonville, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/5/2009

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ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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