How does dermatomyositis (DM) affect daily life?

Symptoms of dermatomyositis such as muscle weakness and skin rash may be frustrating, painful, and get in the way of everyday life. The skin rash causes one’s skin to be more sensitive to the sun, so people affected by this disease should wear sunscreen and protective clothing. Obtaining support from other people who suffer from the same condition can be helpful with coping. Joining a support group may be beneficial.  
Some other things people can do to help cope with dermatomyositis include staying active and getting adequate rest. Family and friends can be great support systems when dealing with dermatomyositis and can help to combat feelings of isolation. It is important to still try and do the things you enjoy. 
Some potential complications of dermatomyositis include:
  • Difficulty swallowing: When the muscles in the esophagus are affected by dermatomyositis and become weak, one may have trouble swallowing. This can result in weight loss and malnutrition. 
  • Aspiration pneumonia: When someone has difficulty swallowing they could breathe food or liquids into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia.
  • Calcium deposits are hard bumps under the skin that may develop because of dermatomyositis. 
  • Breathing problems: When dermatomyositis affects the chest muscles, breathing can become difficult. 
  • Skin and/or gastric ulcers
  • Lung infections 
Dermatomyositis may be associated with or put one at increased risk for developing the following conditions:
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Increased risk for developing cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Other connective tissue disorders
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon 
living with dermatomyositis (DM)

  • "Dermatomyositis." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 01 Aug. 2017. Web. 20 Sep. 2017.
  • “Dermatomyositis: What Is It?” Healthline Media. Healthline, n.d. Web. 20 Sep. 2017. 


From Our Blog: How to Select the Right Sunscreen for You

Stay safe and prevent the risk of skin cancer or skin aging by applying sunscreen, along with staying in the shade, wearing appropriate clothing, and avoiding UV tanning.

how to select the right sunscreen for you infographic


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