Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune disease, that usually presents with symmetric progressive muscle weakness and/or characteristic skin findings. Its cause is not well understood, but symptoms can be triggered by malignancies like ovarian or breast cancer, medications, or infections. Dermatomyositis is most common among females, and it favors a bimodal age distribution (juvenile and adult).
Typical cutaneous complaints of dermatomyositis include, among others, the following: a pink-purple discoloration and inflammation around the eyes; prominent capillaries on the nailfolds and cuticle abnormalities; a rash on sun-exposed areas of the body especially on the chest and upper back; and bumps, purple discoloration, and inflammation involving the fingers, elbows, knees and knuckles; itchy, red and flaky scalp.
Diagnosis of dermatomyositis may include, in addition to clinical evaluation, skin biopsy, muscle examination, laboratory studies, imaging, pulmonary function tests, and appropriate screening for internal malignancies.
Treatment of skin manifestations of dermatomyositis depend on the degree of systemic involvement of the disease, but usually include sun protection, anti-itch medications, topical creams like steroids and calcineurin inhibitors, and systemic medications.
For a complete evaluation of your case, if you suspect of have been diagnosed with dermatomyositis, please contact us today and schedule an appointment with one of Florida Skin Center’s licensed providers.