Beth Gottlieb MD Ped Rheumatology www.DrMDK.com
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Interviewer: Dermatomyositis is a kind of autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It causes inflammation of the skin so it results in some very typical kinds of rash. It can give pink cheeks, almost like a lupus rash looks and sometimes that fools people. It gives a little bit of a purple hue over the eyelids and it can give patches of red skin along the elbows over the knuckles and on the knees. And then it also affects muscles so, it causes inflammation of muscle. And in the beginning, people may just feel like they have the flu. They are achy, they are tired, they might have some fever, but if somebody notices that very characteristic rash at the same time, it is usually picked up sooner. The rest of it might get picked up because unlike the flu, it does not get better and people do become progressively weak. They find it difficult to climb upstairs, to go up the stairs on the school bus, to stand up from a chair; those are the types of situations that would become difficult. Interviewee: What is usual history? What is that have to be down the road with patients with that? Interviewee: Most patients with Dermatomyositis do extremely well. We have much better medications for all of our autoimmune diseases now than we used to, and we know that if we treat it quickly and pretty aggressively in the beginning, we can put people into a quiet state of the illness and then usually it does not recur after stopping the medication. It is usually about two years for the complete treatment of Dermatomyositis and in most cases, it does not recur after. Sometimes it does, some patients need to go back on medicine.