Picture of Neurofibromatosis
Neurofibromatosis. Also called Recklinghausen's disease, neurofibromatosis is characterized by areas of pigmentation like this café au lait spot on a 16-year-old. NF1 is a genetic disorder of the nervous system causing neurofibromas (tumors) to grow on the fibrous covering of nerves. Spots like this one can appear on the skin and can sometimes be accompanied by physical deformation. Most are benign but they can become malignant and those with NF1 have a predisposition to brain tumors and various forms of cancer. People with this disorder should seek genetic counseling before planning a child. Dermatologists look for more than six cafe au lait macules greater than 5mm in greatest diameter in pre-pubescent kids and greater than 15 mm in postpubertal people to initiate a workup for Neurofibromatosis 1.
Text Source: Medline Plus / National Library of Medicine
American Association of Neurological Surgeons