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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011 Mar;64(3 Suppl):S30-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.11.009. Epub 2011 Jan 17.

Postprocedural wound-healing efficacy following removal of dermatosis papulosa nigra lesions in an African American population: a comparison of a skin protectant ointment and a topical antibiotic.

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College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, USA.



Removal of dermatosis papulosa nigra (DPN) lesions results in superficial cutaneous wounds that are frequently treated with topical antibiotic ointments. We hypothesize that antibiotics are not necessary for effective and safe healing of such wounds.


This study compared the wound healing efficacy and safety of the skin protectant Aquaphor Healing Ointment (AHO) (Beiersdorf Inc, Wilton, CT) and Polysporin first-aid ointment (Poly/Bac) (polymyxin B sulfate/bacitracin zinc) (Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ) after removal of DPN lesions.


This double-blind, split-face, pilot study removed two DPN lesions from each side of the face of 20 African American subjects. Wounds on opposite sides of the face were treated with AHO or Poly/Bac twice daily for 21 days. Wounds were evaluated for erythema, edema, crusting, scabbing, epithelial confluence, melanin confluence, general wound appearance, and subjective irritation on days 1, 3, 7, 10, 14, and 21 after surgery using 5-point scales.


Wound healing parameter assessments showed no differences between wounds treated with AHO versus Poly/Bac in erythema, edema, epithelial confluence, crusting, scabbing, melanin confluence, or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation at any time point. Subjective irritation was similar between treatments for burning, stinging, itching, tightness, tingling, and pain. No adverse events were reported.


This was a small study in a homogenous population of African Americans.


Postprocedural treatment with AHO and Poly/Bac demonstrated equivalent wound healing in an African American population. These results support the hypothesis that antibiotics are not necessary for safe and effective healing of facial wounds resulting from removal of DPN lesions.

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