PIGMENTATION

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

Dermatosis PapulosaNigra (DPN) is a common cause of pigmentation on the face of those with skin of colour. While it can be easy to diagnose and remove, getting the right diagnosis and right treatment are critical to optimising results while minimising scarring.

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More about Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

DPN is a cluster of small 1-5mm benign moles/spots (microscopically they are seborrheic keratoses) that occur mostly on the face but can also be seen on the neck. They don’t cause any symptoms and are not cancerous but are a cosmetic concern for many people.

40-50% of people affected will have another family member with this condition too meaning that for many people it is partly genetic. So, it has nothing to do with what you eat or drink and it is not catchy (contagious).

DPN is more common in those with skin of colour. It is especially common in African skin, Indian skin and Pacific Islander skin types.

While there is not much that can be done to prevent these spots from appearing, we can do something to treat them. DPN often co-exists with other pigment problems like melasma so it is important to properly assess each patient in order to determine the best treatment plan for that individual.

While many information sources will talk about scraping and using liquid nitrogen, this technique poses many risks in skin of colour including scarring and brown blotches. We often use a radiofrequency device (safe in people of all ages and stages of life) to safely, quickly and effectively treat DPN. It feels like a little prick on the skin but doesn’t cause any ongoing discomfort. Treatment normally takes no more than 15minutes. It is best to consider maintenance treatment every 1-3 years to keep on top of newly developing spots.

No numbing cream or pain killers are needed for this procedure but we often use ice to help with any mild discomfort. The areas treated look like small little mosquito bites for about 12-24 hours then a small pinpoint scab forms in the treated areas. These small crusts fall off in about a week.

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