Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

Author: Dr. Bobby Buka

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra is a benign skin condition that is more common in skin of color. It is characterized by small, raised dark brown to black-colored bumps on the cheeks and forehead. The elevated skin is sometimes also found on the neck or trunk of the body. Though these bumps are not a health hazard, many people find them annoying and unattractive (even though Morgan Freeman made his famous!) They can be removed with specialized techniques that leave a smooth surface on the skin.

Understanding Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra
This condition is actually caused by small benign lesions that occur on the surface of the skin. It is not cancerous, and the cells do not turn into cancerous cells. Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra is a condition that occurs with adulthood. Children are generally not affected, and the condition may begin in adolescence. The condition is considered mild when there are 10 or fewer spots. A moderate case would have 10 to 50 spots. While, a severe case would include 50 or more spots on the face, neck or body.

Who Gets This Condition?
Up to 35 percent of African Americans will develop Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra in their adult lives. Some Asians may also have this condition. It is usually more common in women than in men. There also appears to be a strong genetic link to having this condition.

Treating Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra
Electrocautery (burning), cryosurgery (freezing), CO2 laser, or curettage (scraping) is generally used to remove the elevated bumps from the surface of the skin. These techniques must be done with care to avoid the creation of scars on the skin and loss of pigment.

Dr. Bobby Buka can help patients with Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra by using the latest in equipment and techniques. Contact our office today for an appointment to discuss your skin issues.