Café-au-lait macules or patches are common tan to brown birthmarks.
These spots are tan-colored pigmentations on the skin that look as though coffee with milk has spilled on the skin, which can be cosmetically troublesome. They are typically flat, but can also be slightly raised. These appear early in life and occur in an estimated 15% of the population.
These spots are usually harmless, but if you have more than six café-au-lait spots, it could be a sign of an underlying genetic problem, in which case you should contact your doctor.
The board-certified physicians at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York are experts in treating these pigmented marks and work with patients of all ages including infants and young children.
what is the treatment?
Laser treatment is the most promising method of improvement, though it can range from easy to challenging depending on the type of birthmark. Our physicians are experts at evaluating these types of birthmarks and creating a laser treatment plan designed specifically for you.
Are There Any Genetic Diseases Associated With Café-Au-Lait Spots?
Neurofibromatosis type-1 is a genetic condition most commonly diagnosed in children with six or more café-au-lait spots. These spots typically develop in the first few years of life and are typically the first noticeable sign of the disease. This disorder can affect the eyes, nerves, and skin, and can cause bone abnormalities and language difficulties. It can also cause problems such as high blood pressure, vision problems, and epilepsy.
If your child has more than 6 spots, we recommend you see a doctor for an evaluation to see if medical attention is needed.
Response to Laser Treatment of Café au Lait Macules Based on Morphologic Features
Dan Belkin, MD, Julia P. Neckman, MD, Hana Jeon, MD, Paul Friedman MD, Roy G. Geronemus, MD
Publication JAMA Dermatology (2017)
Cafe au Lait Macules In The News
Questions and Answers
Q: What Do Café-Au-Lait Spots Look Like?
A: Café-Au-Lait spots are flat, hyperpigmented spots on the skin. They are permanent, common, and can be anywhere on the body.
Q: Is Treatment Necessary?
A: Treatment is not necessary for most café-au-lait spots, but you can receive laser treatment for cosmetic reasons.
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