Updated February 17th, 2024 at 21:13 IST

What Is Dermatomyositis? Know Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

In adults, the condition of Dermatomyositis usually occurs in the late 40s to early 60s, while in children, it appears between 5 and 15 years of age.

A representative image. | Image:HealthCentral
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Dangal fame Suhani Bhatnagar, who played the young Babita Kumari Phogat, died on February 16 in Delhi. She was 19. The actress reportedly suffered from Dermatomyositis, a rare autoimmune disease. So here we are with the information regarding the disease such as symptoms, risks and medication.

What is Dermatomyositis?

It is a rare autoimmune disease that causes muscle weakness and rashes on the skin. A form of myopathy, it can cause severe symptoms that affect the ability to breathe and swallow, as per the Mayo Clinic. In adults, the condition usually occurs in the late 40s to early 60s, while in children, it appears between 5 and 15 years of age. The rare condition affects females more than males.

(A representative image | Image: Unsplash) 
(A representative image | Image: Unsplash) 

According to Mayoclinic, there's no cure for Dermatomyositis, but symptom improvement can occur. Treatment can help clear the skin rash and help regain muscle strength.

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Causes of Dermatomyositis

Medical experts aren't sure what causes dermatomyositis, but according to Cleveland Clinic, a few causes might include genetic factors, autoimmune issues, viral infections and environmental factors.

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Genetic Factors: Multiple studies have indicated that patients with particular human leukocyte antigen (HLA) types are at higher risk of dermatomyositis. High-risk haplotypes include HLA-A*68 in North American Whites, HLA-DRB1*0301 in African Americans,[5] HLA-DQA1*0104 and HLA-DRB1*07 in Han Chinese, DQA1*05 and DQB1*02 in people from the UK. Also, DRB1*03-DQA1*05-DQB1*02 haplotype is strongly associated with the development of interstitial lung disease in dermatomyositis, as per the National Library of Medicine.

Immunologic Factors: Although autoantibodies are detected in patients with dermatomyositis, it is unclear whether they play a role in pathogenesis, as per the National Library of Medicine.

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(A representative image | Image: Unsplash) 
(A representative image | Image: Unsplash) 

Symptoms of Dermatomyositis

The signs and symptoms of Dermatomyositis can appear suddenly or develop gradually over time. We have listed the common symptoms below:

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  • Discolouration and bumps on hands, especially near knuckles, knees or elbows.
  • Calcium deposits under the skin. 
  • Ragged cuticles and prominent blood vessels on your fingernail folds. 
  • Joint pain.

Muscle weakness might make it hard to do common motions such as sitting upright, getting up from a seated position, climbing stairs or getting up after lying down.

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It can also cause a rash on the skin such as the eyelids and around the eyes, chest and the front of shoulders, neck and the back of the shoulder.

Treatment of Dermatomyositis

As per medical experts, there is no cure for the disease but there are certain treatments to control it. According to Cleveland Clinic, the treatments include:

Corticosteroids: As it decreases the inflammation in muscles.

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Physical Therapy: To help rebuild damaged muscles.

Immunosuppressant medicines: It stops the immune system from damaging healthy cells and tissues.

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Published February 17th, 2024 at 21:13 IST