What is Dermatomyositis and its Causes?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 03, 2012

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  • What exactly causes dermatomyositis is not known.
  • Similaritis have been found between it and other autoimmune diseases.
  • Small blood vessels inside muscular tissue get affected in this condition.
  • The disease is said to affect women more than men.

Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease that develops when the muscles become inflamed. It is one of the three inflammatory myopathies that are known today. One of the most commonly experienced symptoms includes weakness in the muscles. Dermatomyositis affects adults as well as children. Even though there is no cure for the illness, it may take a while for the symptoms to show. In fact, there may be a period when the person would not feel any symptoms at all.


Causes of Dermatomyositis

What exactly causes dermatomyositis is not known. Similarities between it and other autoimmune diseases, however, has been discovered, which have caused doctors to believe that there is a link between the two autoimmune disease that occur when the disease-fighting cells referred to as antibodies attack the healthy cells by wrongly assuming them to be harmful foreign substances.

One of the parts of the body that gets particularly affected by dermatomyositis are the small blood vessels inside muscular tissue. The inflammatory cells surround these vessels and lead to degeneration of muscle fibres.

One may have an increased risk of developing dermatomyositis if he/she has a compromised immune system.


Who is at risk?

Even though there is no certainty that dermatomyositis will develop in particular persons, it is found to be common in adults between the age of 40 and 60 and in children between the age of 5 and 15 years. The disease is said to affect women more than men.

Image courtesy: Getty

Read more articles on Dermatomyositis.

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