Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dermatomyositis


Synonyms of Dermatomyositis
  • ADM
  • Childhood dermatomyositis
  • Idiopathic inflammatory myopathy
  • IIM
  • Polymyositis

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Adult Dermatomyositis
  • Dermatomyositis sine myositis
  • Juvenile (Childhood) Dermatomyositis (JDMS)


General Discussion
Dermatomyositis is a progressive connective tissue disorder characterized by inflammatory and degenerative changes of the muscles and skin. Associated symptoms and physical findings may vary widely from case to case. Muscle abnormalities may begin with aches and weakness of the muscles of the trunk, upper arms, hips, and thighs (proximal muscles). Muscles may be stiff, sore, and tender and, eventually, show signs of degeneration (atrophy). Affected individuals may experience difficulty in performing certain functions, such as raising their arms and/or climbing stairs. In addition, affected individuals may experience speech and swallowing difficulties.

Skin abnormalities associated with dermatomyositis often include a distinctive reddish-purple rash (heliotrope rash) on the upper eyelids, across the cheeks and bridge of the nose in a butterfly distribution, the forehead, or additional skin regions; scaling and degenerative (atrophic) changes of affected skin on the extending surfaces of the knuckles, elbows, knees, and/or other regions (Gottron's sign); an abnormal accumulation of fluid (edema) in body tissues surrounding the eyes; and/or other features.

The symptoms of childhood dermatomyositis are similar to those associated with the adult form of the disorder. However, onset is usually more sudden. In addition, abnormal accumulations of calcium deposits (calcifications) in muscle and skin tissues as well as involvement of the digestive (gastrointestinal [GI]) tract are more common in the childhood form of dermatomyositis.

Although the exact cause of dermatomyositis is not known, it is thought to be an autoimmune disorder.
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Organizations related to Dermatomyositis
  • American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.
    22100 Gratiot Avenue
    Eastpointe MI 48021
    Phone #: 586-776-3900
    800 #: 800-598-4668
    e-mail: aarda@aarda.org
    Home page: http://www.aarda.org/
  • Arthritis Foundation
    1330 West Peachtree Street
    Atlanta GA 30309
    Phone #: 404-872-7100
    800 #: 800-568-4045
    e-mail: help@arthritis.org
    Home page: http://www.arthritis.org
  • AutoImmunity Community
    None
    None None None
    Phone #: (91-9) -552-9057
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: bandrews@autoimmunitycommunity.org
    Home page: http://autoimmunitycommunity.org
  • Autoimmune Information Network, Inc
    PO Box 4121
    Brick NJ 08723
    Phone #: 732-664-9259
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: autoimmunehelp@aol.com
    Home page: http://www.aininc.org
  • European Society for Immunodeficiencies (ESID)
    c/o Dr. Esther de Vries
    Hertogenbosch None 5200 ME's
    Phone #: +31- 73--6992965
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: info@esid.org
    Home page: http://www.esid.org
  • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
    150 Custer Court
    Green Bay WI 54301-1243
    Phone #: 920-336-5333
    800 #: 877-336-5333
    e-mail: mums@netnet.net
    Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
  • Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles CA 90024
    Phone #: 310-264-0826
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Home page: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
    3300 E. Sunrise Dr
    Tucson AZ 85718
    Phone #: 520-529-2000
    800 #: 800-344-4863
    e-mail: mda@mdausa.org
    Home page: http://www.mdausa.org
  • Myositis Association
    1233 20th Street NW
    Washington DC 20036
    Phone #: 202-877-0088
    800 #: 800-821-7356
    e-mail: tma@myositis.org
    Home page: http://www.myositis.org
  • Myositis Support Group
    146 Newtown Road
    Hampshire Intl S019 9HR
    Phone #: 023- 80- 449708
    800 #: --
    e-mail: enquiries@myositis.org.uk
    Home page: http://www.myositis.org.uk
  • Myositis Support Group at the Hospital for Special Surgery
    Hospital for Special Surgery
    New York NY 10021
    Phone #: 212-774-7623
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: fischbeins@hss.edu
    Home page: http://www.hss.edu/myositisgroup
  • NIH/National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse
    1 AMS Circle
    Bethesda MD 20892-3675
    Phone #: 301-495-4484
    800 #: 877-226-4267
    e-mail: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html