Q:

How is dermatomyositis treated?

A:

Quick Answer

Dermatomyositis is treated with medications, physical therapy and surgery, states Healthline. As of February 2015, there is no cure available for the condition, but treatments are available to reduce pain and relieve other symptoms.

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Full Answer

Corticosteroids are often used to treat dermatomyositis, explains Healthline. These drugs help people with dermatomyositis by suppressing the immune system, which reduces the number of antibodies available to cause inflammation. If corticosteroids do not work, tacrolimus, intravenous immunoglobulin or corticosteroid-sparing medications are used to control the symptoms of dermatomyositis. Tacrolimus suppresses the immune system, while intravenous immunoglobulin blocks the effects of the antibodies that attack the muscles and skin. Corticosteroid-sparing medications help limit the effects of corticosteroids.

Some people with dermatomyositis require physical therapy or surgery, according to Healthline. Physical therapy helps strengthen the muscles and prevents muscle tissue from wasting away. Surgery is used to remove calcium deposits that build up underneath the skin. Medications are also used to control the pain and skin rashes caused by dermatomyositis.

Dermatomyositis is a rare disease that occurs when the muscles become inflamed, reports Healthline. As of 2015, scientists do not know what causes the condition, but it is similar to autoimmune diseases in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue. The symptoms of dermatomyositis include muscle pain, lung problems, difficulty swallowing and the formation of calcium deposits under the skin.

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