Juvenile Dermatomyositis

Also known as: JDM.

What is juvenile dermatomyositis?

Juvenile dermatomyositis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own tissues and cells. Specifically, JDM impacts the muscles and skin in children. This can lead to muscle weakness/pain, difficulty with movement and persistent rashes.

What causes juvenile dermatomyositis?

The exact cause is not known. Like in other autoimmune diseases it is believed that a combination of environmental and genetic factors can cause the immune system to get confused and the body to attack itself.

What are the symptoms of juvenile dermatomyositis?

Along with the progressive muscle weakness that leads to problems with movement, juvenile dermatomyositis also causes a rash on the face, chest, back, fingers, elbows, knees and ankles, most often. Difficulty swallowing, fever, fatigue, weight loss, joint pain and lung problems are other symptoms of the disease.

What are juvenile dermatomyositis care options?

There is no definite cure, but there are treatments available that help children with JDM have improvement in both muscle and skin inflammation.

Medications can help with the symptoms of the disease.

Physical therapy can also assist people in living with the condition. Wearing sunscreen is important for managing the rash.


Reviewed by: Yonit Sterba Rakovchik, MD

This page was last updated on: July 22, 2021 03:35 PM

Children's Dermatology

The Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital focuses on the latest medications and technology available for the specialized treatment of all skin diseases and disorders affecting children of all ages.

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Autoimmune Diseases

An autoimmune disease occurs when the body’s immune system (the body's natural defense system against bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders) mistakenly attacks its own organs and tissues. Learn more

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