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This Common Condition is Famously Known to Morgan Freeman

Updated: Apr 22

Do you or someone you know have those same facial spots that we famously know to affect the great actor we know as Morgan Freeman? It's a very common skin condition and there is a good chance that you may already know someone who may be affected with this benign skin condition.

So what is Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)?

Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN) is a common skin condition that primarily affects individuals with a richly pigmented skin, especially those of African or Asian descent. This condition is characterized by the development of small, benign, brown to black papules on the face, neck, and upper trunk. While DPN poses no serious health risks, it can cause cosmetic concerns for those affected. In this blog, we will delve into the details of DPN, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatment options.

What Causes Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra?

The exact cause of DPN is not fully understood, but it is believed to be influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Factors that may contribute to the development of DPN include:

- Genetic predisposition, as DPN tends to run in families.

- Sun exposure, which may exacerbate the condition.

- Hormonal changes, such as those occurring during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra

DPN presents as small, smooth, dome-shaped papules that are typically dark brown to black in color. These papules are commonly found on the cheeks, forehead, neck, and upper chest. DPN lesions are usually painless and may vary in size, ranging from 1 to 5 millimeters in diameter. While the papules are benign and do not cause physical discomfort, individuals affected by DPN may seek treatment due to cosmetic concerns.


The diagnosis of DPN is usually based on the characteristic appearance of the skin lesions. A knowledegable physician can typically diagnose DPN through a visual examination of the affected areas.

Treatment Options

One highly effective and easy treatment option for DPN is electrosurgery, also known as hyfrecation. At Onyx, we can use a small electrical current to remove the papules from your skin with little to no pain. With no down time and easy aftercare, this is a highly recommended treatment option for DPN.

It is important to note that while these treatments can effectively reduce the appearance of DPN, new lesions may continue to develop over time, requiring periodic maintenance treatments.


Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra is a benign skin condition that primarily affects individuals with darker skin tones. While DPN does not pose a health risk, it can have a significant impact on an individual's self-esteem and confidence. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have DPN, it's essential to consult with a knowledgeable physician for an accurate diagnosis and to explore the available treatment options. As with any skin condition, seeking professional medical advice is crucial to ensure the most appropriate management and care.

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