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What is dermatomyositis? Causes, symptoms and prevention – all about this rare inflammatory disease health news


Dermatomyositis is a rare inflammatory disease characterized by muscle weakness and skin rash. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms include muscle weakness, skin rash, fatigue, difficulty swallowing and shortness of breath. Although there is no cure, treatment focuses on managing symptoms and preventing complications. The recent tragic loss of Dangal actor Suhani Bhatnagar at the age of 19 has drawn attention to the condition.

According to Dr Shraddha Deshpande, Aesthetic-Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Wockhardt Hospitals Mumbai Central, “Dermatomyositis is a complex condition that requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and management. By understanding its causes, symptoms and preventive measures, you can be proactive. Your health and Steps to protect well-being. If you suspect you have dermatomyositis, consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan.”

Causes and risk factors of dermatomyositis

The exact cause of dermatomyositis is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some factors shared by Dr. Shraddha can increase the risk of developing the condition, including:

– Genetic predisposition

– Exposure to certain viruses

– Environmental triggers such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation

– Gender (women are more affected than men)

– age (this often occurs in childhood or adolescence)

Symptoms of dermatomyositis

Early symptoms of dermatomyositis include muscle weakness and skin rash. The rash usually appears on the face, knees, elbows, knees, chest, and back. It can vary in appearance from red spots to purple discoloration.

Diagnosis of dermatomyositis: key tests to consider

Here are the key tests used to diagnose dermatomyositis as shared by Dr. Ravi Teja Juluri, Lab Head – TrustLab Diagnostics:

1. Creatine Kinase (CK): High levels indicate muscle damage.

2. Specific antibodies: Anti-Jo-1 antibodies are associated with dermatomyositis.

3. Electromyography (EMG): This test evaluates the electrical activity of muscles, detecting inflammation or damage.

4. Imaging tests: MRI or CT scan: Provides detailed muscle and tissue images, revealing inflammation or damage.

5. Muscle biopsy: A sample of muscle tissue, usually from the thigh, is examined for signs of inflammation or damage.

6. Skin biopsy: If a skin rash is present, a skin sample is examined for specific dermatomyositis-related changes.

These tests, combined with medical history and physical examination, help diagnose dermatomyositis and plan appropriate treatment. Early detection can lead to better outcomes for patients.

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