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Dermatology Online Journal

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Drug-Induced dermatomyositis following COVID-19 vaccination


Dermatomyositis (DM) is a multi-organ idiopathic inflammatory myopathy that presents with proximal symmetric muscle weakness accompanied by characteristic cutaneous findings. Most individuals present with skin manifestations prior to muscle involvement and its course can involve the blood vessels, joints, esophagus, and lungs and can be paraneoplastic, making a malignancy assessment imperative. Although its etiology is unknown, type I interferon appears to be a component in evoking the characteristic inflammatory response and patients with DM often have an increase in type I inducible genes. Suspected triggers for DM are environmental factors, drugs, viral infections, and vaccines. The association of DM with vaccination poses a new conundrum within the medical community as people continue to get vaccinated and boosted with SARS-CoV2 vaccines, though it is worth noting that the most common challenges arose as type I hypersensitivity reactions and new onset autoimmune disorders are rare. Presented here is a 53-year-old man who was diagnosed with DM after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. His case highlights the importance of the potential onset of autoimmune diseases following the COVID-19 vaccine, a phenomenon that clinicians should be aware of as the discourse concerning the pandemic continues.

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