What is Dermatomyositis?
Dermatomyositis is an uncommon acquired muscle disease that is accompanied by the skin rashand marked by muscle weakness. This is very rare disease and is just one of a group of muscles diseases called inflammatory myopathies.
It affects both adults and children alike. In adults it usually occurs from late 40s to early 60s and in children mostly appears between 5 to 15 years of age. Dermatomyositis affects more females than males.
Types of Inflammatory Myopathies
- Dermatomyositis (DM) :: Inflammation of voluntary muscles in association with skin rashes.
- Polymyositis (PM) :: Myositis without skin rash
- Juvenile DM/PM :: Myositis and skin rash occurring in children <18 years
- Amyopathic DM :: Typical skin rash develops without evidence of muscle involvement. It is also called Dermatomyositis sine myositis.
What are the Causes of Dermatomyositis ?
It is considered as one of the connective tissue diseases like Systemic Sclerosis and Lupus Erythematosus. The cause is yet unknown. Some factors may play a part in this disease are
- Genetic Factors.
- In elderly patients Underlying Cancer.
- Immune System Defect.
- Infections or toxic agents acting as triggers.
- Drug Induced like Hydroxyurea , Pencillamine , statins , quinidine and phenylbutazone.
What are the Signs & Symptoms of Dermatomyositis ?
The most common first sign of Dermatomyositis in many patients is presence of symptomless itchy and burning rash.
Skin changes : A violet colored or dusky red rash develops , the common area affected are face , eyelids and areas around nail, knuckles, elbow, knees , chest and back. The patchy rash of bluish purple discoloration is usually the first sign of Dermatomyositis.
Muscle Weakness :: Progressive muscles weakness of hips , thighs , shoulders, upper arms and neck. The weakness is symmetrical and affects both the left and right side of the body and it gradually gets worsen.
Other Symptoms may includes ::
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Muscle pain
- Fatigue , weight loss and fever
- Calcinosis – Hardened deposits of calcium under the skin , especially in children.
- Gastrointestinal ulcers and intestinal perforations are also very common in children.
- Problems of Lung and breathing.
- The rash may also affect cheeks, nose , shoulders , upper chest and elbows.
- The less common symptom is atrophic skin .
What is the Ayurvedic View on Dermatomyositis ?
The pathology starts due to the formation of “ama” the toxin produced by the faulty digestion. Poor digestion forms immature “rasa” or chyle . This is the main culprit to develop any disease. In Dermatomyositis the dosha becomes disturbed due to the faulty rasa dhatu. All the three doshas gets vitiated and produce their symptoms. Deranged vata produces pain . Deranged pitta produces inflammation and heat. Deranged Kapha produced rigidity.
The imbalances of the dosha causes the “ Rasa vaha Strotas Dushti” , “ Medh vaha strotas Dushti” and “Masma vaha Strotas dushti” and the channels (Srotas ) gets blocked . The proper nutrition doesn’t reach to them due to nutrition deficiency the muscles & skin becomes weak and diseased.
What is the Ayurvedic Medicines Treatment For Dermatomyositis ?
Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatments can successfully manage and treat Dermatomyositis.
- First of all Improves and corrects the faulty digestive system to check the “ama” or toxin formation. So that the health “Rasa Dhatu “ gets formed.
- Removal of the already formed toxins from the body muscles , skin and from circulatory system through oral Ayurvedic Medicines.
- Panchakarma Detoxification is very important for opening the “Strotas” , so that proper nutrition may reach to them.
- Panchakarma Therapies for Rejuvenation are very helpful
- Oral Ayurvedic Herbal , Herbo-Mineral mixtures and Gold Preparations to enhance the Immunity.
- Ayurvedic medicines which acts on muscular tissue and helps in providing proper nourishment to the “Mamsa Dhatu”. This gradually improves the strength of muscular tissue and muscle fibers.
- Ayurvedic Mixtures are also used to treat the skin , subcutaneous tissue , blood and blood vessels to reduce inflammation and it nourishes the skin. Slowly the skin rashes become healed.
- There are many Ayurvedic medicines which are very helpful for the patients , but we have to decide the medicines and Panchakarma therapies according to Dosha , Dushya , Vay , Samarth , Aayu , so the choice of medicines are different for different patients.
- We have seen clinically that the treatment is required for long time to get good results. Patients go to the stage of remission of disease after proper treatment.