Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

Christopher G. Bunick

Amanda Zubek

Macrene Alexiades


Dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) is a condition in which numerous brown stuck-on appearing papules are found on the malar cheeks and temples and are considered to be a subtype of seborrheic keratosis (SK). These lesions are found commonly in patients of African descent but can also be seen in other ethnicities who have Fitzpatrick phototype III and greater. Unlike typical SKs, DPN often develop earlier in life and are more common in women than in men. Treatment of DPN involves destruction via methods similar to those utilized for typical SKs, but extreme care must be taken to avoid dyspigmentation and scarring.


Patients typically present with multiple asymptomatic, small, dark brown or black papules on the malar cheeks and temples, which are occasionally pedunculated or verrucous.


DPN is considered a variant of SK, and recent investigation into the molecular alterations of DPN lesions shows they can harbor FGFR3 mutations.3