Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"How do you get rid of cafe au lait spots?"

ZocdocAnswersHow do you get rid of cafe au lait spots?


My 6 year old son has Neurofibratomas-1, and has several cafe au lait spots on his neck and face. What are the options for treating this? He doesn't really notice them now but I'm afraid he'll be self conscious as he gets older.


I understand your concern about your son's cafe au lait spots. Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a disease where the development of neurofibromas (small tumors that consist of nerve tissue) occurs in many different parts of the body. The pigmented patches that are often referred to as cafe au lait spots does occur in most patients.

See a doctor who can help

Find Dermatologists near you

Since these patches are not dangerous, and are not the main concern with the disease, most of the research on NF 1 is geared towards treating the tumors. However, there are treatments available for the cafe au lait spots in certain circumstances. Probably the most effective treatment for cafe au lait spots is laser treatment. Some people experience resolution of the spots, but recurrence is common along occasional skin pigmentation changes. Because of these possible side effects, it is usually only recommended to go down this route when the spots are an unacceptable problem. I suggest that you schedule an appointment for you son to see a dermatologist. He or she can take a close look at your son's spots and determine if there is a non-invasive treatment for them. If not, then you can explore laser treatment for them sometime in the future if they become a significant bother to him.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.