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
- rarer nerve–muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophies.