A unusual autoimmune disorder in which the skin and muscles become inflamed. In many cases the cause remains unknown, but in some particular instances the disease is linked to an underlying cancer.
Dermatomyositis creates a skin rash that can first be visible on the cheeks and bridge of the nose, followed by a purple discoloration on the eyelids, and occasionally a red rash over the elbows, knuckles and knees. Muscles can become stiff, painful and weak, especially those in the pelvis and shoulders; affected people could find that cannot raise their hands over their head or cannot raise themselves from a squatting position. Calcium can be deposited in the muscles to help, especially in children experiencing these symptoms.