This skin condition affects 35 percent of American blacks with a lower frequency in African Americans with fare complexion. The appearance of multiple small, smooth brown or black bumps that are small in diameter typically arise on the face. It is a benign, or non-cancerous condition on the skin. It is asymptomatic, which means other symptoms do not accompany its presence. This is more of a cosmetically undesirable condition that doesn’t obstruct view or leave patient with physical discomfort, leaving no other reason to remove the papules other than because the patient would like clearer skin, bereft of marks.

Dermatologists characterize severe cases by the appearance of 50 or more spots. The rate of occurrence, quantity of bumps and size of bumps increase with age, however Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra can occur in children as young as seven years-old. There are more females affected by this condition than there are males. Family history can increase the likelihood for 40-50 percent of those diagnosed; otherwise the cause of the skin condition is unknown. Those that have African-American hereitages with fairer complexions have the lowest frequency of Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra, and although it can occur among Asians, the exact number of incidences is unknown.

Because they are non-life threatening, they require no surgical removal except for cosmetic purposes.  If desired, patients can receive superficial treatment to remove spots:

  1. Curettage- remove by scraping
  2. Cryotherapy- the use of extreme cold to destroy tissue
  3. Electrocautery- the use of heat generated by high frequency current to destroy tissue

As a fellowship-trained cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Rokhsar is an expert in treating Dermatosis Paulosa Nigra for individuals of any skin type.