Juvenile Dermatomyositis Causes & Symptoms
The cause of dermatomyositis is not known, although there are some genetic factors that can contribute to it. In some cases, respiratory or gastrointestinal infections may also trigger its onset.
Rash-like symptoms and the progressive weakening of muscles can be difficult to spot as they may occur gradually in children.
Along with rashes and weakened or tender muscles, additional signs to look for that may point to dermatomyositis include:
- Difficulty swallowing due to weakened throat or neck muscles
- High fever
- Weight loss
- Swollen or painful joints
- Weight loss
- Calcium deposits appearing under the skin
- Skin sensitivity to sunlight
A pediatric rheumatologist in conjunction with a dermatologist can best diagnose this rare disease. Tests that your child might undergo include:
- Blood tests to check for certain antibodies, enzymes, and proteins characteristic of dermatomyositis
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect internal inflammation
- Electrocardiogram (EKG) to monitor heart function
- Swallowing study to evaluate swallowing reflexes and function if ability is lacking
- Muscle biopsy to look for any tissue damage
Juvenile Dermatomyositis Treatment in Austin & Cedar Park, TX
Symptoms of dermatomyositis can be managed with a combination of medications and physical therapies. Medications can help slow treat inflammation and slow the progression of the disease. Staying active as well as physical therapy may help ensure your child’s muscles stay strong.
For children who have severe rashes along with sunlight sensitivity, covering up with sunscreen and protective layers while outside are a must.