Neurofibromatosis Pictures - 73 Photos & Images
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue. These tumors can develop anywhere in your nervous system, including your brain, spinal cord and nerves. Neurofibromatosis is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood.
In most cases of neurofibromatosis the skin is affected, causing symptoms such as:
- pale, coffee-coloured patches
- soft, non-cancerous bumps on or under the skin (neurofibromas)
Skin neurofibromas are usually soft and painless. Those that are under the skin are usually firmer to touch but are usually also painless. Other neurofibromas may be deep in the body and cannot be felt from the outside. They do not cause health problems generally although some may press on a nerve and symptoms may develop such as pain or numbness. In this case, you need to see your doctor. Typically, adults will acquire more neurofibromas as they age because they do not go away.
Some neurofibromas can grow in a wide, spreading fashion around large nerves and may feel like a bunch of knots or cords beneath the skin. These types of growths are called plexiforms. Sometimes they will be obvious in early life as an area of swelling but other times they can lie deeper in the body and are harder to detect. They can grow anywhere on the body and, more rarely, occasionally on the face.
When they are present near the surface they sometimes grow to a large size. If this is going to happen it usually does so within the first few years of life. These tumours can be painful if knocked and can be disfiguring depending on their size and shape.