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Hello, I hope that my kid will be much better in the next couple of days when the therapy start showing effects. She has been diagnosed with polymyositis and I have to say that since then I cannot sleep well at all. We thought at first that she is just too tired because of the school and exercising but is something much more dangerous. Can you tell me what the difference between polymyositis and dermatomyositis is? Doctors mentioned both of these conditions…

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First of all, do not lose hope. It seems that the condition has been discovered while in its early stage of development and that is a good sign. With an aggressive approach in the therapy, symptoms might be controlled easily. As for that difference, it is actually one same condition but in dermatomyositis there is a skin problem included in the entire situation.
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The difference in symptoms is as massimo989 indicated.  As to how it attacks the body is actually different.  In Polymyositis your immune system attacks the muscles directly. In dermatomyositis your immune system indirectly attacks your muscles and skin via your blood or vascular system. This difference is what makes it possible to have both diseases where your immune system attacks your muscles directly and indirectly.  Folks having both at the same time are usually much more severe and difficult to treat and have a worse mortality rate. They are also at high risk for getting several other secondary autoimmune diseases, cancer, and heart disease. How do I know all this, I am in that situation. Folks having one or the other or less complications and associated diseases are more likely to go into remission after early treatment.
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