Dermatomyositis

Dermatomyositis is a rare and serious systemic autoimmune condition characterized by skin and muscle involvement. Like other autoimmune diseases, it affects more women than men and morbidity is more severe in black, Asian and Native American populations. The disease is characterized by distinct skin lesions that can be accompanied by erosions, photosensitivity, itch, ulcers, calcinosis and hair loss as well as other abnormalities. Muscle inflammation and atrophy is a characteristic of the disease and can manifest as weakness. Dermatomyositis affects as many as 70,000 people in the US. Mortality is high with 5-year survival of 70% and 10-year survival of 57%. Standard of care includes antimalarial drugs and potent immunosuppressive agents, which often lead to significant adverse effects.


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