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Dermatosis papulosa nigra

What is it?

It is a benign disease that represents a specific clinical form of seborrheic keratosis. It can affect anyone, but occurs more frequently in people of African descent, and women.

The emergence of the lesions can begin early in life but it is more common the appearance of the first lesions in adulthood.

Characteristics and symptoms

The lesions are tiny, elevated, dark brown or black, affecting mainly the face and neck. They are asymptomatic and begin forming tiny dots, the size of a pinhead that grow progressively until about 2-5 millimeters in diameter. Adjacent lesions unite and form larger plaques.

New lesions are formed throughout life, and in some cases, they reach a great number, causing considerable aesthetic damage, due to the appearance of blotchy skin.


The treatment is simple and provides good cosmetic results, when properly indicated and performed. It consists in the destruction of the lesions, which can be obtained by chemical cauterization (photos below), cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen or electrocoagulation.

Related articles

- Seborrheic keratosis
- Melanocytic nevus

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