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seborrheic keratoses(1)

What is a Seborrheic Keratosis? What are these rough brown spots on my skin?

A seborrheic keratosis is one of the most common non-cancerous skin growths in older adults. They can appear as waxy brown, black, or tan growths on the face, chest, shoulders, back, arms or legs. These can sometimes cause irritation and can be easily removed by a doctor. These benign growths can also be a cosmetic concern – Pure Dermatology has the most up-to-date technology to treat seborrheic keratoses. Dr. Haseltine and Dr. Holcomb may choose the Cutera Enlighten laser, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen, shave removal, or curette removal. 

What is a Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN)?

Dermatosis papulosa nigra describes the presence of multiple, small, 1–5 mm diameter, smooth, firm, black or dark brown papules on face and neck.

Who gets dermatosis papulosa nigra?

Dermatosis papulosa nigra is common in people with darker skin tones and it affects up to 35% of African Americans. Females are more frequently affected than males. Dermatosis papulosa nigra usually begins in adolescence and the spots increase in size and number with age.

Can dermatosis papulosa nigra be treated?

Yes! Pure Dermatology has lots of ways to treat these dark facial spots.  Dr. Haseltine, Dr. Holcomb, or Cherie Albro, NP, may choose cryotherapy, electrocautery, or the Cutera Enlighten laser.  We will take into account your skin color, history of scarring, and size and location of your dermatosois papulosa nigra when choosing treatment type.

Medical grade topical treatments are critical to prevent discoloration from treatment of DPN’s and to prevent formation of new ones. We offer and help select medical grade sun protection specific to your skin needs like colorescience SUNFORGETTABLE total protection brush-on shield SPF 50 Revision Skincare Multi-Protecion Broad-Spectrum SPF 50, skinbetter science sunbetter TONE SMART SPF 68 Sunscreen Compact and sunbetter SHEER SPF 56 Sunscreen Stick. Additionally, an anti-oxidant rounds out skincare to brighten skin and reduce blemishes. We like Revision Skincare Vitamin C Lotion 30%, skinbetter science Alto Defense Serum.

After we gently numb the area with injectable lidocaine or topical numbing medication, a precise, pen like surgical tool is used to apply a tiny amount of electricity or heat to the top of the seborrheic keratosis. There is usually a crusted or darkened area for several days. After healing, there will be a pink, light, or dark area that will eventually return to normal skin color with good skincare and essential sun protection. Treatment cost depends on the number of lesions and area treated but range from $50 to $650. 1-2 repeat treatments are often necessary and depend on the number of lesions.

Enlighten laser can be used to effectively treat seborrheic keratosis and dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN).  It also gently tightens and refreshes the skin.  This will cause mild crusting for several days. We will consider your skin color, history of scarring, and size and location of your SK’s and DPN when choosing treatment type.

Enlighten laser also treats the following skin concerns:

  • Sunspots or lentigines
  • Freckles
  • Liver spots
  • Unwanted tattoos
  • Pigmentation or hyperpigmentation
  • Melasma (select cases)
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Mild wrinkles and skin texture
  • Under eye texture
  • Face and body
  • Acne scarring (select cases)

This treatment is best for very thick or clear seborrheic keratoses. We gently numb the area with injectable lidocaine and then scrape off the seborrheic keratosis with a sterile surgical tool. There is usually a crusted area for several days. After healing, there will be a pink or hyperpigmented spot that will eventually return to normal skin color with good skincare and sun protection. Treatment cost depends on the number of lesions and area treated but ranges from $50 to $550.

Cryotherapy can be used to treat seborrheic keratosis and dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN).  Liquid nitrogen is carefully applied to the area with a special instrument. The area will become crusted before it goes away. The resulting area can be pink, light, or dark for a short time period so sunscreen is a must. The treated area will eventually change to normal skin tone.

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