Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra in Washington, DC
What is Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra?
Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra, also known as ‘DPN’, is a genetically mediated condition resulting in the development of small benign pigmented growths, typically around the eyes. It primarily affects patients with darker skin tones, and the lesions are often mistaken for skin tags or moles, however DPN is its own distinct entity. DPN typically appear in the 30s or 40s. They tend to grow to a certain size and then stabilize, although some may continue to grow into tag-like lesions or wider, flatter lesions.
Can Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra be removed?
Yes, several treatments exist which can reduce or remove existing DPN papules. As a benign lesion treatment is cosmetic in nature and is not covered by insurance. Treatments for DPN include electrocautery, cryotherapy, scissor excision, and in certain circumstances, lasers, however laser treatment of DPN is not typically recommended due to a risk/benefit imbalance treating darker skin tones when compared to the other available treatment modalities. The goals of treatment are reduction in the visible number of DPN on the treated areas. For patients with extensive untreated DPN an initial treatment would be performed followed by a touchup treatment 6-8 weeks later to retreat any lesions which did not fully resolve with the first treatment.
Is DPN removal permanent?
While DPN treatment will remove or reduce visible lesions, it does not change the genetic predisposition to develop DPN, and patients treated for for DPN will develop new lesions over time which will eventually require additional treatments to remove.
What is the DPN treatment process?
Prior to scheduling DPN treatment a consultation is required to both diagnose and assess the extent of DPN lesions on the face, as well as ensure that a patient is an appropriate candidate for treatment. Prior to the treatment session a topical numbing cream is applied to the treatment area by the patient and left on for 60-90 minutes. During treatment individual lesions are treated to a clinical endpoint. Over a 4-7 day period after treatment treated lesions will dry out and fall off. During this initial post care period we recommend vaseline/aquaphor to be placed on treated lesions several times per day to hasten the healing process. In certain circumstances we may prescribe a topical lightening cream for use before and after treatment to reduce incidence of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
How much does DPN removal cost?
The fee for the initial consultation is $125, and can be applied to the treatment fee. Initial treatment fees for DPN range from $350-$1000 depending on the number of DPNs present and the size of the overall area to be treated. Touch up treatments are typically at a reduced rate compared to the initial treatment fee.