Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra or DPN is a type of hyperpigmentation. The symptoms of DPN are black or brown spots. Moreover, patients find DPN usually on the cheek and around the eyes, forehead, neck, chest, and back.
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN) appears as small brown or black spots on the skin. Generally, these spots are seen around the cheekbones and eyes. However, they are also seen on the face, neck, chest, and back. Some people with DPN have a few, isolated spots while others have hundreds of spots. The spots are neither cancerous nor dangerous to your health. However, they may be itchy, irritating, or cosmetically unappealing.
Do & Don't for Getting DPN
DO: Consult a doctor who specialises in treating patients with ethnic skin.
DO: Keep realistic expectations from the treatment.
DO: Use a broad spectrum sunscreen daily.
DO: Use face washes that have glycolic or salicylic acid.
DON’T: Leave the house without sun protection.
DON’T: Ignore initial stages of any skin condition.
DON’T: Scrub your skin too roughly.
The spots may either be flat or hang off the skin from a stalk or peduncle. Usually, the bumps caused by DPN are round.
They range in size from 1 to 5 millimeters. The bumps tend to grow bigger and increase in number as the individual ages.
The bumps are initially smooth. However, the bumps can become rougher looking over time.
Causes of DPN
Usually, the cause is genetics. However, it may also be a result of the natural ageing process. Additionally, many believe that it is due to a developmental defect of hair follicles.
People at risk
African Americans are at high risk of the condition. Usually, this condition is more common in women. Generally, the spots appear after puberty.
Treatment for DPN
Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) is not a health concern and is not life-threatening, However, many people consider removing the spots for aesthetic reasons. It is important to have realistic expectations from the treatment. Treatment may not be able to completely remove spots. Hence, the goal of treatment should be to minimize the appearance of spots rather than to remove them completely.
Additionally, the fact that the condition occurs mostly in the skin of color patients complicates treatment for DPN. These individuals are at a higher risk of developing pigmentation defects (lightening or darkening of the skin). Moreover, they are also prone to scarring following treatment. These scars or discolored patches may also be cosmetically undesirable.
The DPN bumps or spots can be surgically removed through the following techniques usually done with topical anesthesia:
- Scissor excision: In this technique, your doctor will grab the DPN spot with a small forceps and lightly pull it up. Then he will use small, curved scissors to carefully cut around and under the lesion. This technique treats DPN spots that rise above the skin.
- Shave excision: In this treatment, the mole is cut off from the body using a small blade. This procedure does not require stitches.
- Curettage: Curettage involves scraping away the bumps with a small scooping instrument.
- Electrocautery: Electrocautery involves using a small probe with an electric current to burn away the bumps.
- Cryosurgery: Cryosurgery involves freezing off the bumps using liquid nitrogen.
- Electrodesiccation: Electrodesiccation involves dehydrating the superficial tissue to destroy it.
These treatments may cause scarring. Moreover, they also won’t stop new bumps from appearing.
2. Laser treatments:
Laser therapy uses different wavelengths and frequencies to remove the DPN growths. Some of the lasers that can help to remove or reduce the appearance of DPN growths are:
- Carbon-dioxide laser: This type of laser therapy is a safe and effective option for DPN. Moreover, after CO2 treatment, DPN has a low chance of recurrence.
- Long-pulsed neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet lasers (Nd: YAG lasers): This laser uses a wavelength of 1064nm that is safe for dark skin. It stops the blood supply to the growth. Additionally, it also coagulates melanin in the dark spots. This treatment is slightly painful. However, it also has minimal side effects.
Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) is not a dangerous condition. However, some patients choose to remove it for cosmetic reasons. READ MORE
Generally, DPN presents itself at puberty and the spots increase over time. Usually, the distribution pattern of the small black or brown spots is sufficient to diagnose DPN. However, in rare cases, we do a biopsy to diagnose DPN.