Knowledge Base


by Dr Vaid Ji on Feb 22, 2024


Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attack healthy tissue that affects the muscles, skin, and bloods vessels, and it is inflammatory and degenerative. During this disease, you have muscle weakness and swelling along with red spots on the skin. It is more commonly diagnosed in adults and children between the ages of 5 and 15 or those in their 40 to 50s

Types of Dermatomyositis

  • Juvenile dermatomyositis

Occur in patients <18 years old at onset

  • Adermatopathic dermatomyositis
  • Myopathic dermatomyositis

Skin rashes and muscle weakness together

  • Amyopathic dermatomyositis

In biopsy, subclinical muscular involvement often detected

Causes of dermatomyositis

The exact cause of dermatomyositis isn’t known.

  • An autoimmune disease occurs when your body’s disease fighting cells (antibodies) attack your healthy cells.
  • Small blood vessels in muscular tissue are particularly affected in dermatomyositis
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors
  • Sun exposure
  • Smoking
  • Viral infection
  • Long term intake of strong medications

Symptoms of dermatomyositis

It may appear suddenly or develop slowly over time.

  • Skin changes: Purple or dark red rash develops on the skin, usually on your face and eyelids and on your fingers, elbows, knee, chest, and back. Rash may be itchy and painful
  • Muscle weakness: Muscles closest to the torso, Such as the muscles in your hips, thighs, shoulders, upper arms, and neck.Weakness affects both the left and right sides of your body, and gradually get worse.
  • Muscle swelling
  • Hard calcium deposits underneath the skin, which is mostly seen in children
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Lung problems


  • Physical examination
  • Chest X ray
  • Blood test
  • MRI
  • CT scans
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Skin and muscle biopsy

Complications of dermatomyositis

  • Skin ulcers
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Lung infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Pneumonia
  • Breathing problems

Dermatomyositis can also be associated with condition such as

  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Myocarditis
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Connective tissue diseases
  • Increased risk of developing cancers

How to you prevent Dermatomyositis

  • Avoid processed and fast foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eating balance diet with plenty of fresh fruits &vegetables
  • Maintain proper hygiene
  • Eat more vegetables protein
  • Increase omega 3 fatty acid in your diet
  • Avoid alcohol and cold drinks
  • Avoid coming contact with environmental poisons like pesticides and herbicides

Ayurvedic view of Dermatomyositis

According to Ayurveda we can correlate this disease with  Mamsavritavata. Panchkarma detoxification is very important for opening the Strotas, Ayurvedic medicines which acts on muscular tissue and helps in providing proper nourishment to the Mamsa dhatu. This gradually improves the astrength of muscular tissue and muscle fibers. In Ayurveda Panchakarma therapies like “Sashitkshali pinda sweda and Basti , Parisheka,Udvartana and shaman chikitsa ” is very effective in this treatment.

Ayurvedic herbs used in Dermatomyositis

  • Turmeric
  • Boswellia
  • Amla
  • Ashwagandha
  • Giloy
  • Kustha
  • Haritaki
  • Coriander
  • Gokshura