Type of disease: Rare conditions
Dermatomyositis is one of a group of acquired muscle diseases called inflammatory myopathies (disorder of muscle tissue or muscles), which are characterized by chronic muscle inflammation accompanied by muscle weakness. The cardinal symptom is a skin rash that precedes or accompanies progressive muscle weakness. Dermatomyositis may occur at any age, but is most common in adults in their late 40s to early 60s, or children between 5 and 15 years of age. There is no cure for dermatomyositis, but the symptoms can be treated. Options include medication, physical therapy, exercise, heat therapy (including microwave and ultrasound), orthotics and assistive devices, and rest. The cause of dermatomyositis is unknown.