RDS, Find a rheum-derm

What is Rheumatologic Dermatology?

Did you know there are doctors who have combined training in both Dermatology and Rheumatology? These physicians are referred to as Rheum-Derm’s. This subspecialty, Rheumatologic Dermatology, focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of the skin manifestations of rheumatologic diseases like Dermatomyositis and other cutaneous rheumatologic diseases.

How is Rheum-Derm helpful?

Having a physician with extensive knowledge of both the dermatologic and rheumatologic aspects is especially helpful for those who are suspected of having or have been diagnosed with Dermatomyositis (DM), a rare, systemic, autoimmune disease which presents with a mixed-bag of skin- and muscle-related symptoms, as well as potential cancers and lung disease. Often, patients with skin predominant Dermatomyositis will seek out a Dermatologist. But then, they are often referred to a Rheumatologist and things can become complicated as both specialists can treat the disease.

With a Rheum-Derm, there is a better chance of getting a correct diagnosis and being placed on the most effective treatment available since they are educated in which tests, including myositis antibodies, to order and have the experience to differentiate the different skin manifestations that can often appear, and look similar to, many skin diseases.

What is the Rheumatologic Dermatology Society (RDS)?

The organization, Rheumatologic Dermatology Society (RDS) has member physicians in 18 states in the U.S. and in some in  Canada.

The mission of RDS is:

  • To educate and improve the care and treatment of individuals with skin-related problems related to rheumatologic diseases such as lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis, morphea, vasculitis and other rare or orphan diseases.
  • To promote awareness, interest and training in this field that encourages future generations of dermatologists, clinicians and investigators to pursue careers or conduct research in this medical subspecialty.

RDS provides resources for patients, physicians and researchers and supports:

  • Patients, families and caregivers
  • Dermatologists, physicians and healthcare providers
  • Fellows and medical school trainees
  • Clinical educators
  • Clinical investigators and basic research scientists
  • Pharmaceutical or other medical industry professionals

How can I find a Rheumatologic Dermatology physician?

To find a Rheumatologic Dermatology physician, visit the RDS at http://www.rheumaderm-society.org/for-patients/find-our-physicians/

Learn more about this organization at http://www.rheumaderm-society.org/



Myositis Support and Understanding Association (MSU) is a patient-centered, all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Empowering the Myositis Community. Founded by Myositis patients, for Myositis patients, MSU provides education, support, advocacy, access to research and clinical trial matching, and need-based financial assistance.

View more information: Myositis Support

  1. Sandy Block 9 years ago

    Hi, Eva — there is one listed at Duke. Too bad there aren’t any in Va Beach. I know a couple in the Va Beach area go to Johns Hopkins, though and I hope you can get in there.

  2. Jerry Williams 9 years ago

    It is an interesting speciality and one that those with DM really need, especially if their current doctors do not communicate well together. I hope you are able to find one in your area. We are always here to help if you need it!

  3. Eva 9 years ago

    I did not know this will look for one maybe, maybe one in my area.

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