Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

With dermatomyositis, areas affected by your rash are more sensitive to the sun. Wear protective clothing or high-protection sunscreen when you go outside.

Coping and support

Living with a chronic autoimmune disease can make you wonder whether you're up to the challenge. To help you cope, try supplementing your medical care with the following:

  • Know your illness. Read all you can about dermatomyositis and other muscle and autoimmune disorders. Talk to people who have a similar condition. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions concerning your illness, diagnosis or treatment plan.
  • Be a part of your medical team. Consider yourself, your doctor and other medical experts involved in your care as a united front in the fight against your disease. Following the treatment plan you agreed to is vital. Keep your doctor updated on any new signs or symptoms you develop.
  • Get active. A regular exercise routine can help you maintain and build your muscle strength. Be sure to get a detailed plan and recommendations from your doctor or physical therapist before starting an exercise program.
  • Rest when you're tired. Don't wait until you're exhausted. This will only set you back further as your body tries to recuperate. Learning to pace yourself can help you maintain a consistent level of energy, accomplish just as much and feel better emotionally.
  • Acknowledge your emotions. Denial, anger and frustration are normal when dealing with an illness. Things don't seem normal or fair and likely seem out of your control. Feelings of fear and isolation are common, so stay close to your family and friends. Try to maintain your daily routine as best you can and don't neglect doing things you enjoy. Many people find support groups helpful.
Aug. 01, 2017
References
  1. Dermatomyositis. The Myositis Association. http://www.myositis.org/learn-about-myositis/types-of-myositis/dermatomyositis. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  2. Dermatomyositis information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Dermatomyositis-Information-Pagel. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  3. Miller ML, et al. Clinical manifestations of dermatomyositis and polymyositis in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  4. Polymyositis and dermatomyositis. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/musculoskeletal-and-connective-tissue-disorders/autoimmune-rheumatic-disorders/polymyositis-and-dermatomyositis. Accessed April 25, 2017.
  5. Dermatomyositis. Muscular Dystrophy Association. https://www.mda.org/disease/dermatomyositis. Accessed April 23, 2017.
  6. Miller ML. Initial treatment of dermatomyositis and polymyositis in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 23, 2017.