Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory muscular disease that is characterized by two specific symptoms: a violet colored rash and progressive muscle weakness. It occurs more often to women than to men and more frequently to those ages 40 to 60 or in children ages 5 to 15. There is no cure for dermatomyositis but there are treatments and activities that will help manage the symptoms.
A violet colored skin rash is the most common first sign in the development of dermatomyositis. One classic place the rash occurs is on the face, particularly around the eye area, which can be mistaken for a lupus rash or dermatitis. A scalp rash is also fairly common and hair loss may be observed.
Two other common skin eruptions are called Groton papules and calcinosis. Groton papules are reddened, roughened skin that appears over bony areas such as the knuckles or elbows. Calcinosis nodules are hard areas of deposited calcium under the skin. They occur more often in children. Early treatment of dermatomyositis is important in order to head off this complication.
Muscle weakness from dermatomyositis can occur weeks or even years after the skin rash appears. People start to notice that they have increased fatigue climbing stairs or when reaching for items overhead. Muscle tenderness may be present but that is not a typical accompanying symptom. Other symptoms may develop such as Raynaud’s disease, arthritis, weakness of the muscles used for swallowing or lung disease.
Dermatomyositis has also been linked to certain cancers particularly cervical, lung, pancreas, breast, ovarian and the GI tract. Up to 20 percent of people with dermatomyositis may spontaneously have their disease swing back and become inactive. Others find the illnesses waxes and wanes without apparent cause.
Treatment for dermatomyositis:
A physical exam by a doctor will include: blood work to test for enzymes related to muscle injury and other immune levels. A muscle biopsy may be performed to examine the muscle tissue under a microscope. A chest x-ray and EKG may be done to check for heart involvement and an MRI may help detect inflammation in the muscles.
There is no cure for dermatomyositis, however certain medications may be used to help control symptoms. Oral steroids are the first line drugs used to reduce inflammation along with other immune suppressive medications. Medication may also be given to counter the effects of the steroids. Immunoglobulin may be given intravenously to block antibodies in the body from attacking the muscles and skin. Pain relievers may be prescribed as needed.
Other therapies that can help are physical therapy or speech therapy if muscles for speech have become weakened and a high protein diet to replenish energy loss from muscle weakness.
If you have dermatomyositis, it is most important to rest as needed; don’t wait until you are exhausted and pace yourself. Wear sunscreen or protective clothing to protect your skin.
Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s health care and quality of care issues. Other articles by Michele are at www.helium.com/users/487540/show_articles feedproxy.google.com
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1.What is surgical repair of the ear?
2.What is increased secretion of the thyroid gland?
3.Muscle twitching, cramps, and convulsions are all symptoms of what?
4.What disease is increased blood sugar?
5.What is increased mammary gland in males?
6.What is low blood sugar?
7.What is skin cancer?
8.What is antineoplastic?
9.What is an immunosuppressant?
10.What does an Endocrinologist do?
11.What is R.B.C. `s?
12.What are phagocyte cells that ingest bacterial cells called?
13.What is the term for low white blood cell count?
14.What is hemolytic?
15.What does a hematologist do?
16.What is fibrillation?
17.What is an echocardiogram?
18.What is a sphygmomanometer?
19.What does inguinal mean?
20.What are stenos is?
21.What is anticoagulant?
22.What are arrhythmic?
23.What does a cardiologist do?
24.What is the membrane inside the heart and its valves called?
25.What is the muscular wall of the heart called?
26.What are phagocytes?
27.What is the term for under the fingernail?
28.What is a skin doctor called?
29.What is abnormal softening of the nail called?
30.What is the term for excessive sweating?
31.What is the term for cancer that spreads?
32.What is Down syndrome?
33.What is the study of cells?
34.What is an adenectomy?
35.What is a benign neoplasm of neurons and nerve fibers?
36.What term means toward side?
37.What term means abnormal hardening>
38.What is degenerative disease of the brain?
39.What term means can’t speak?
40.What does casualties mean?
41.What is syncope?
42.What does hypochondrias mean?
43.What is a lobotomy?
44.What is a reading skill disorder called?
45.What does an ophthalmologist do?
46.What is conjunctivitis?
47.What is the term for double vision?
48.What is inflammation of the tympanic membrane?
49.What is the term for muscle tenderness?
50.What is the term for surgical removal of the muscles?
51.What is the abnormal softening of muscle vessels?
52.What is the term for loss of muscle mass?
53.What is the condition in which pupils are unequal?
54.What is surgical repair of the fascia called?
55.What is hyper kinesis?
56.What is the term for difficulty of voluntary movement?
57.What is the term for excessive stretching and tearing of the muscles?
58.What test is done for muscle contraction?
59.What term means to suture the bone together?
60.What is the term for death of bone?
61.What is the term for bone caner?
62.What is the medical term for a baby’s soft spot?
63.What type of doctor does spinal manipulation?
64.What is abnormal lateral curvature of the spine?
65.What is the term for hollow or depressed area of bone?
66.What is a foot doctor called?
67.What is a stethoscope used for?
68.What is pulmonary edema?
69.What is surgical incision of the chest wall?
70.What is SIDS cause by?
71.What is chronic disorder producing narrowing of airways asthma?
72.What does pulmonologist do?
73.What is dyspnea?
74.What is communicable disease destroying lung tissue?
75.What disease is caused by smoking for long periods?
76.What is accumulation of asbestos in the lungs?
77.What is surgical repair of the nose?
78.What is volvulus?
79.What is the formation of gallstones?
80.What is the surgical removal of the stomach?
81.What does a gastroenterologist do?
82.What is an endoscopy?
83.What is the opening from large intestine/bowel colostomy?
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