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Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

Dermatosis papulosa nigra is a benign condition that generally affects African Americans. It affects up to 35% of African Americans but can affect darker-skinned Asians. It consists of multiple dark-raised lesions. The lesions generally affect the cheeks and areas around the eyes but may affect the neck and chest.

During the teenage years, the lesions usually start and will increase with age. They can be flat or raised and even look like a skin tag. The cause of dermatosis papulosa nigra is unknown. There may be a genetic cause as up to 50% of individuals with it have a family history.

Treatment:

· Cryotherapy – I am not a proponent of this as the side effects can be too high.

· Electrocautery – some physicians will use electrocautery with curettage to remove the lesions. I feel that this also may cause more damage to surrounding tissue than required.

· Radiofrequency – The Ellman Surgitron can be used to destroy the lesions and causes less trauma to surrounding tissue.

· Lasers – The Sciton Erbium Laser is an option to treat the lesions. It has much less trauma to surrounding tissues than other lasers.

It is very important to choose a provider that has experience treating the lesions associated with dermatosis papulosa nigra. If not treated correctly, the treatment may lead to scarring and pigmentation changes.

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