Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra, as Explained by a Dermatologist

Getty / michaeljung

Image Source: Getty / michaeljung

There are a host of skin conditions that you can experience over your lifetime. Some are more common than others – like acne or contact dermatitis – but some can take a while to recognize. This is often the case with dermatosis papulosa nigra, also known as DPN.

Often mistaken for freckles, DPN is simply a skin growth. “The exact cause of DPN is not fully understood, but it is believed to be influenced by both genetic and hereditary factors,” Michelle Henry, MD, FAAD, tells POPSUGAR. “It is generally considered a benign condition and does not pose any medical risks.”

Still, not much is understood about the condition, and it can feel overwhelming when one bump turns into many, seemingly out of the blue. So to help you figure out exactly what DPN is, as well as what causes it, we reached out to Dr. Henry. Ahead, she explains everything from who’s more predisposed to experiencing these skin growths to how to get rid of them.

What Is Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra?

Ever wonder why freckles have started showing up on your nose, chest, or stomach? A case of dermatosis papulosa nigra is very likely the answer. “This condition is characterized by the presence of small, benign, dark-colored – usually brown or black – bumps that typically appear on the face, neck, chest, and occasionally on other parts of the body,” Dr. Henry says. “It is often observed in individuals with dark skin tones.”

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra Causes

While there is no exact answer as to why dermatosis papulosa nigra occurs, science does point to some likely causes. “An overgrowth of epidermal cells leads to the development of these small skin-colored or dark bumps,” Dr. Henry says. “Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that genetics play a significant role in the occurrence of DPN. It often tends to run in families, and individuals with a family history of DPN are more susceptible to developing it.”

DPN can happen in anyone from any ethnic background, but individuals of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent are more prone to experiencing the condition.

Is Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra Harmful?

Dermatosis papulosa nigra growths are benign and do not pose any medical risk. “The bumps are noncancerous and are not harmful to one’s health,” Dr. Henry says. “However, some individuals may find them aesthetically bothersome, particularly if they are prominent on visible areas of the skin.”

If you find yourself questioning whether a growth on the skin is related to DPN or not, be sure to book an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as you can. “While DPN is a common and generally harmless condition, it is advisable to have any new or changing skin growths assessed by a healthcare professional to rule out any potential concerns,” Dr. Henry says.

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra Treatment and Removal

Some people may not be a fan of how DPN looks aesthetically. Thankfully, there are treatment options available to you, if you’d like to get rid of the skin tags. “It is essential to consult a qualified dermatologist to determine the most suitable treatment option based on individual circumstances and skin type,” Dr. Henry says. These options include:

  • Cryotherapy: This freezes the bumps with liquid nitrogen to remove them.
  • Electrocautery: Electric current is used to burn them off.
  • Curettage: This uses a curette to scrape the bumps off the skin’s surface.
  • Laser therapy: Targeted laser therapy treatments effectively remove the DPN.

Though DPN is not harmful, maintaining good overall skin health through proper skin care and sun protection is beneficial for all. While you can’t necessarily prevent DPN, you can give yourself peace of mind that your skin health is at its peak by wearing your sunscreen, staying hydrated, and following any personalized skin tips provided by your dermatologist.

Related Posts
Latest Beauty
The End.

The next story, coming up!