Dermatomyositis is a rare medical condition that weakens the muscle. Women are more affected than men as they are more prone to develop this disease. There is no cure for dermatomyositis but there are several treatments to prevent the worsening of its symptoms.
Though the main cause was not really determined by the doctors, still, they suspect that it was caused by:
- the attack of the immune system against the muscle cells and blood vessels
- pass on to family members (hereditary)
- virus in the skeletal muscles
The common symptom of dermatomyositis is a rash. It will appear on most areas like on the palm, fingers, shoulders, upper back, upper chest and around the eyes. Rashes are naturally red but others say that they have bluish-purple ones. Other known symptoms are the following:
- gottron papules
- muscle weakness
- joint pain
- mouth problems (difficulty swallowing)
- breathing problem (lung problem)
To have an accurate diagnosis, the doctor will review and track the patient’s medical history including his/her current condition. After that, a series of tests will be performed such as:
- Blood test – it will determine if a patient has a high level of certain enzymes (creatine kinase and aldolase ) and if the muscles are truly damaged.
- Electromyography – this test helps determine how a muscle reacts to nervous system stimulation and where the weakness can be found. It uses an electric impulse that will be put into the muscle.
- Chest x-ray – this is to check if there is a lung problem.
- Muscle Biopsy – a small tissue on the muscle will be removed to determine any signs of dermatomyositis and other disease like lupus.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – this will show if there is any damage to the muscles.
The doctors found ways to treat the inflammation and prevent other future risks as dermatomyositis has no cure. Below are some prescribed medications for the inflammation of the muscles:
- Steroid-sparing agents
- Other suggested treatments are undergoing speech and physical therapy to relax the mind and body.
There are some situations that a surgery is required. For example, if it causes extreme nerve pain then that is the time for a surgical operation.
Dermatomyositis can also be prevented by a good diet plan. Consulting to a dietician can help a person with this condition to minimize the symptoms. A proper exercise, other than therapy, is an easier way to achieve a healthy body.