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> > > > > What are the symptoms of polymyositis and dermatomyositis?

What are the symptoms of polymyositis and dermatomyositis?

Most people will only have mild and short-lived symptoms. These can include:

  • weak and tired muscles – making normally easy tasks very tiring
  • inflamed muscles – causing pain (known as myalgia) and feeling tender to the touch
  • generally feeling unwell (malaise)
  • weight loss
  • night sweats

If you have dermatomyositis, you may get some of the above symptoms as well as:

  • a red/pink rash on your upper eyelids, face and neck, and on the backs of your hands and fingers
  • swelling of the affected skin, causing a characteristic puffiness and colouring around your eyes.

Other conditions can sometimes mimic polymyositis. These include:

  • side-effects of some medications (for example, steroids or statins)
  • toxic effects of long-term alcohol excess
  • hormonal conditions such as under- or over-active thyroid
  • low vitamin D levels or abnormal calcium or magnesium levels
  • infections
  • rarer nerve–muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophies.


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