Fourth in this group of collagen disorders is one called dermatomyositis. This is a common and often fatal disorder involving the skin and the muscles. The exact cause is still unknown. It affects people of all races and colors, both men and women, and in general those between the ages of ten and fifty years.
Characteristic of this condition is the involvement of the muscles. As they deteriorate the organs concerned show effects, as in the eyes, throat, diaphragm, or muscles between the ribs. The symptoms then are difficulties of vision, swallowing, breathing, speech, etc. Naturally such people lose weight and get weak. Unfortunately this condition is progressive and few who have it live long.
Until recently little was known about treatment, and vitamins, hormones and physical therapy were tried. Salicylates were thought to be beneficial. Now we know that the salicylates can to a small extent stimulate the condition.