Adults with Neurofibromatosis Pictures - 59 Photos & Images
Neurofibromatosis is a rare genetic disorder that causes typically benign tumors of the nerves and growths in other parts of the body. Some people with this disorder have barely noticeable neurological problems, while others are affected profoundly.
The most common symptom of NF1 is the appearance of painless coffee-coloured patches on the skin, known as café au lait spots. They affect 95% of people with NF1. The spots can be present at birth or develop by the time a child is three years old.
During childhood, most children with NF1 will have at least six café au lait spots around 5mm across. These grow to about 15mm during adulthood.
The number of café au lait spots someone has isn't related to the severity of the condition. For example, a person with 10 spots has the same chance of developing further problems as someone with 100 spots.
Having a couple of café au lait spots doesn't necessarily mean you have NF1. About one in 10 people without the condition have one or two of these spots.
Another common symptom of NF1 is clusters of freckles in unusual places, such as the armpits, groin and under the breast.
Bumps on or under the skin
As a child gets older, usually during teenage years or early adulthood, they develop bumps on or under their skin (neurofibromas). These are caused by non-cancerous tumours that develop on the coverings of nerves. They may vary in size, from pea-sized to slightly bigger tumours. Some neurofibromas have a purple colour.
The number of neurofibromas a person has can vary. Some people only have a small number while others have them on large sections of their body.
Most neurofibromas aren't particularly painful, but may look unattractive, catch on clothes and occasionally cause irritation and stinging.
However, if neurofibromas develop where multiple branches of nerves come together (plexiform neurofibromas), they can cause large swellings. Plexiform neurofibromas sometimes occur on the skin, but may also develop on larger nerves deeper in the body. They may sometimes cause symptoms including pain, weakness, numbness, bleeding, or bladder or bowel changes.