Background: Dermatomyositis affects visible skin and causes disease symptoms that can affect patients' quality of life (QOL).
Methods: In all, 71 patients with dermatomyositis or dermatomyositis sine myositis completed two QOL measures (the Skindex-16 and the Dermatology Life Quality Index) and a visual analog scale for pruritus. Disease severity was assessed by Physician's Global Assessment.
Results: The mean Dermatology Life Quality Index score was 10.7 and the mean Skindex-16 score was 51.1. Itching contributed to impact on both the Dermatology Life Quality Index and Skindex-16. Females reported worse QOL.
Limitations: The effect of treatment on quality of life was not assessed in these analyses.
Conclusion: QOL impairment in dermatomyositis is greater than in other skin conditions including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Pruritus is an important treatable factor that significantly impacts QOL for patients with dermatomyositis.