A rare inflammatory disease, it’s a condition that occurs when muscles become inflamed. 

Dermatomyositis can affect people of any age. It’s a condition without a cure, but sufferers may have periods without symptoms.

Signs and symptoms:

Weakness in the muscles is the most common symptom, alongside a rash on the face, chest, nails, or elbows that can appear red or purple. Often corticosteroid medications are used as treatment and can be taken as a pill or cream applied to the skin. 

Other symptoms include:

  • tender or painful muscles 
  • difficulties swallowing
  • hard calcium deposits underneath the skin (mostly seen in children)
  • feeling tired
  • weight loss
  • fever

Lifestyle tips: 

As with any rash, the affected areas are more sensitive to the sun so cover up and use plenty of sunscreen, including a lip balm with SPF.

Trying to follow a moderately active lifestyle can be beneficial, but remember to rest regularly to avoid becoming overtired. 

To help the skin stay moisturised, take showers rather than baths. Use skin moisturisers after washing and throughout the day. You may want to use products that help soothe and reduce itching.

Do not smoke.

Diet tips:

Consider upping the amount of oily fish you eat, or take an omega-3 supplement. 

Calcium supplements should be considered if you are taking oral corticosteroids for long periods of time. 

Avoid alcohol.

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