As displayed in this image, the small elevations of the skin of dermatosis papulosa nigra can sometimes develop thicker scaling. In dermatosis papulosa nigra, tiny to small, dark brown elevations of the skin are typically located on or around the cheeks. This image displays a close-up of typical brown elevations of the skin of dermatosis papulosa nigra. This image displays large, dark elevations of the skin due to dermatosis papulosa nigra.  This image displays a severe case of dermatosis papulosa nigra on the face.
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Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra  Information for adults

Picture of Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra: As displayed in this image, the small elevations of the skin of dermatosis papulosa nigra can sometimes develop thicker scaling. Divider line
As displayed in this image, the small elevations of the skin of dermatosis papulosa nigra can sometimes develop thicker scaling.
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Overview
Dermatosis papulosa nigra is a harmless condition commonly affecting the faces of black and sometimes Asian adults. The cause of dermatosis papulosa nigra is unknown, although about half of people affected have a family history of the disease.

Who's At Risk
Dermatosis papulosa nigra affects up to 35% of blacks and an unknown proportion of Asians. Women are affected more than men. Dermatosis papulosa nigra usually begins in adolescence, and the number and size of lesions increase with age. The spots of dermatosis papulosa nigra do not go away.
Signs and Symptoms
Numerous 1–5 mm firm, smooth, raised, dark brown to black bumps occur on the cheeks and forehead. Sometimes these bumps may also be on the neck and trunk.
  • Mild – less than 10 spots
  • Moderate – 10 to 50 spots
  • Severe – more than 50 spots

Self-Care Guidelines
No treatment is needed for dermatosis papulosa nigra lesions unless they are bothersome cosmetically.
When to Seek Medical Care
When removal of dermatosis papulosa nigra lesions is sought, care must be taken to be conservative to avoid scars and loss of pigment in the skin.

Treatment cost is usually not covered by insurance.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
Freezing (cryosurgery), scraping (curettage), and burning (electrocautery) are all effective removal methods.



References

Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology, pp.1701-1702. New York: Mosby, 2003.

Last Updated: 22 Dec 2008