What are the treatment options for dermatomyositis (DM)?

There is no cure for dermatomyositis, but treatments can help improve symptoms and even potentially cause periods of remission. 
 
Potential treatments for dermatomyositis include:
 
  • Corticosteroids are medications that are helpful in managing symptoms, but long term use may cause serious side effects. 
  • Antimalarial medications can help with the persistent rash that dermatomyositis may cause. 
  • Sunscreens and wearing protective clothing are important because the rash associated with dermatomyositis makes skin more sensitive to the sun. 
  • Corticosteroid-sparing agents can be used in conjunction with corticosteroids to decrease the side effects caused by corticosteroids. 
  • Physical therapy can help to improve one’s muscle strength and flexibility. 
  • Speech therapy may be indicated in people with dermatomyositis who have difficulty swallowing. 
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a blood product that contains healthy antibodies from donors. It is given via IV through a vein regularly. When given to people with dermatomyositis, the antibodies can help to block the antibodies that are attacking the muscle and skin tissues. 
  • Surgery to remove calcium deposits under the skin if they are painful or put one at risk for frequent skin infections. 
  • Pain medications can be used to help with any pain associated with dermatomyositis. 
 
dermatomyositis (DM) treatment
 
 

Sources:
  • "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. 
  • “Dermatomyositis.” The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Cleveland Clinic, 22 Sep. 2015. Web. 20 Sep. 2017. 
  • "Dermatomyositis." The Johns Hopkins Myositis Center. Johns Hopkins Medicine, n.d. Web. 20 Sep. 2017.

 

From Our Blog: National Physical Therapy Month (October)

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