This patient information and photograph on Orlando NEUROFIBROMATOSIS Treatments is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? Neurofibromatosis is an unusual hereditary disease of the skin and occasionally
other organs. Typically it begins in childhood with multiple flat pigmented patches called cafe-au-lait spots. Later in childhood soft fleshy skin growths begin to develop called neurofibromas. Most people that have solitary neurofibromas do not have neurofibromatosis. With neurofibromatosis Involvement of bones, nerves and endocrine glands may occur. The degree of involvement varies from individual to individual. Some have only minor skin findings while others may develop extensive disease. There is no way to predict the future severity of the disease.
What causes it? This disease is an inherited condition but solitary neurofibromas can occur in anyone. Children of affected individuals have a fifty-fifty chance of being born with neurofibromatosis.
Is it dangerous? Solitary neurofibromas of the skin are harmless. If you have neurofibromatosis in most cases the disease is harmless. In others, neurofibromatosis becomes extensive and may cause serious medical problems. There is no way to predict if extensive involvement will occur.
Can it be cured? There is no effective treatment to prevent formation of new neurofibromas. I can surgically remove any individual skin growths that are a cosmetic concern.
Will it spread? New growths may continue to develop.
Is it contagious? Neurofibromatosis is not contagious and you cannot "catch it" from anyone.