Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra Clinical Presentation

Updated: Aug 07, 2017
  • Author: Mehran Nowfar-Rad, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Lesions usually begin during puberty. They tend to increase steadily in number and size as the individual ages.


Physical Examination

Dermatosis papulosa nigra is characterized by multiple, firm, smooth, dark brown to black, flattened papules that measure 1-5 mm in diameter. Lesions occur mainly on the malar area of the face and the forehead, although they also may be found on the neck, upper back, and chest. A small percentage of patients have similar lesions on the upper trunk. Scaling, crusting, and ulceration do not occur.



Dermatosis papulosa nigra is likely to be genetically determined, with 40-54% of patients having a family history of involvement. Dermatosis papulosa nigra is believed to be caused by a nevoid developmental defect of the pilosebaceous follicle. Hairston et al have suggested that dermatosis papulosa nigra should be classified within the group of epithelial nevi. [4]