Autoimmune diseases refer to autoimmune reaction, antibodies and immune cells target the body’s own healthy tissues, signaling the body to attack them. The classic sign of an autoimmune disease is inflammation, which can cause redness, heat, pain, and swelling. How an autoimmune disease affects you depends on what part of the body is targeted. If the disease affects the joints, as in rheumatoid arthritis, you might have joint pain, stiffness, and loss of function. No one is sure what causes autoimmune diseases. In most cases, a combination of factors is probably at work. For example, you might have a genetic tendency to develop a disease and then, under the right conditions, an outside invader like a virus might trigger it.
Some of the diseases that fall into the autoimmune category include autoimmune hemolytic anemia, autoimmune hepatitis, dermatomyositis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Graves’ disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, myasthenia gravis, some forms of myocarditis and multiple sclerosis.
Dermatomyositis is an idiopathic inflammatory myopathy with characteristic cutaneous findings that occur in children and adults. This systemic disorder most frequently affects the skin and muscles but may also affect the joints; the esophagus; the lungs; and, less commonly, the heart. Dystrophic calcinosis may complicate dermatomyositis and is most often observed in children and adolescents.