This is a complex topic. Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory disease that principally affects the skin and skeletal muscle causing muscle weakness and a characteristic skin rash. Therapy is mainly prednisone but other immunosuppressive type drugs have been used including azathioprine (Imuran), mycophenolic acid (Cellcept), methotrexate and the TNF inhibitors. Dermatomyositis is associated with malignancy and thus cancer screening should be considered.
About Alan Matsumoto, M.D.
Part-time Faculty, Division of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University