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

Dermatomyositis is a rare inflammatory disease characterized by muscle weakness and a skin rash. The exact cause is unknown, but it is thought 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 death of 19-year-old Dangal actress Suhani Bhatnagar has brought attention to this situation.

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

Causes and risk factors for 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 may increase the risk of developing this condition, including:

– genetic predisposition

– coming into contact with certain viruses

-Environmental triggers such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation

– Gender (women are more affected than men)

– Age (this often occurs in childhood or adulthood)

dermatomyositis symptoms

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

Diagnosis of dermatomyositis: key tests to consider

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

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

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

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

4. Imaging tests: MRI or CT scan: Provides detailed pictures of muscles and tissues, 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 skin rashes are present, a skin sample is examined for specific dermatomyositis-related changes.

These tests, combined with the 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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