Dermatomyositis (dur-muh-toe-mi-uh-SI-tis) is an uncommon inflammatory disease marked by muscle weakness and a distinctive skin rash. Medically, polymyositis is classified as a chronic inflammatory myopathy — one of only three such diseases.

Dermatomyositis affects adults and children alike. In adults, dermatomyositis usually occurs from the late 40s to early 60s; in children, the disease most often appears between 5 and 15 years of age. Dermatomyositis affects more females than males.

Periods of remission, when symptoms of dermatomyositis improve spontaneously, may occur. Treatment can clear the skin rash and help you regain muscle strength and function.

Jul. 07, 2011