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Doctor insights on: Cafe Au Lait Spots

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Dr. Brian Labow
23 doctors shared insights

Cafe Au Lait Spots (Overview)

Literally french for "coffee with milk" these spots look like irregularly shaped large flat light tan moles. Their significance increases if you have more than 6 before puberty as it can be a sign of a condition called "neurofibromatosis".


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What does having cafe-au-lait spots signal?

What does having cafe-au-lait spots signal?

Coffee spot: These are flat, well defined pigment patches that may not be evident at birth. A few <6 and < 1cm size at puberty are likely unimportant.They are common in the general population as benign but permanent findings. In greater numbers and larger size they may indicate a form of neurofibromatosis (there are several). Your dr can sort out your specific issue with after an exam & family history. ...Read more

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Dr. Brian Labow
23 doctors shared insights

Cafe Au Lait Spots (Overview)

Literally french for "coffee with milk" these spots look like irregularly shaped large flat light tan moles. Their significance increases if you have more than 6 before puberty as it can be a sign of a condition called "neurofibromatosis".


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What are cafe au lait spots and how treated?

What are cafe au lait spots and how treated?

Cafe au lait: Café au lait macules are observed in 95% of patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (nf1), which is the most frequently occurring neurocutaneous syndrome. These spots may also be observed in patients without nf1. Other conditions in which they may be observed include mccune-albright syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and fanconi anemia. ...Read more

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Easy way to get rid of my cafe au lait birthmark?

Easy way to get rid of my cafe au lait birthmark?

Need evaluation: You need to discuss with your doctor any family history of inherited disorders as cafe au lait birthmarks may be a marker of neurofibromatosis. ...Read more

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What the percentage of person who has cafe au lait spots gets neurofibromatosis?

What the percentage of person who has cafe au lait spots gets neurofibromatosis?

Number of spots: Many people who do not have nf have a few café-au-lait spots . If a young child has five or more, at least ½ inch or 15 mm in size post puberty lookfor other signs such as neurofibromas — tumors along skin and lisch nodules, tiny, noncancerous tumors on the iris (the colored part of the eye). Consult physician to better assess individual signs for diagnosis. ...Read more

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Did my daughter get cafe-au-lait spots from me?

Did my daughter get cafe-au-lait spots from me?

Depends: Cafe-au-lait spots are not contagious but may be inherited. Please discuss with your doctor as such marks may be a marker of systemic inherited abnormality. ...Read more

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My son has two cafe au lait spots and possible epilepsy (nocturnal seizures). Doctor mentioned genetic disorder. Is it possible?

My son has two cafe au lait spots and possible epilepsy (nocturnal seizures). Doctor mentioned genetic disorder. Is it possible?

Yes, it is possible: Whenever a child has more than one thing going on, or one thing (e.g. Seizures) and additional physical findings (e.g. Cafe au lait spots) the possibility of a genetic condition behind findings increases. Both seizures and cafe au lait spots separately are relatively common. Combination increases, but does not diagnose, a genetic cause. I would recommend formal evaluation by a clinical geneticist. ...Read more

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Did my daughter get cafe-au-lait spots from me?

Depends: Cafe-au-lait spots are not contagious but may be inherited. Please discuss with your doctor as such marks may be a marker of systemic inherited abnormality. ...Read more

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I have three cafe au lait spots measuring about 1-2cm max. I have another 2 that are about 5mm max. No other nf1 signs and am 25. Is this nf1?

I have three cafe au lait spots measuring about 1-2cm max. I have another 2 that are about 5mm max. No other nf1 signs and am 25. Is this nf1?

Unlikely: According to diagnostic criteria for nf1 at least 2 of the following clinical features must be present in order to make diagnosis (for your age group): >5 cals (>15mm in diameter), >1 neurofibroma, freckling in axillary or groin area, optic glioma, >1 lisch nodule, a distinctive bony lesion, a 1st degree relative with nf1 according to the above criteria. Diagnosis may be confirmed by genetic test. ...Read more

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I have three cafe au lait spots ranging from 1-3cm.They are very hard to see. I just found one today. No other nf1 symptoms. Could this still be nf1?

Unlikely: Unlikely because of not enough spots.There are different definition, but 6 or more sports greater than 1/4 inch size is a standard.So not probable. ...Read more

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