Cafe Au Lait Macules - Western SummaryWestern Medicine Summary

Western Medicine

Western Summary

Café Au Lait Macules are not cancerous, do not cause pain, and are generally without symptoms. CALMs are most common in African Americans (18%) and Hispanics (3%), and are rare in Caucasians and Asians. 


Café Au Lait Macules (CALMs) are brown skin patches with sharp borders, either present at birth or in early infancy. 



Most people with CALMs are healthy. However, several genetic conditions are linked to the presence of multiple CALMs, such as neurofibromatosis type-1, McCune-Albright syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Bloom syndrome, and others. A qualified healthcare provider can best assess if a genetic condition is a possibility.  



 CALMs do not require medical care, and treatments are mainly performed for cosmetic reasons. However, when associated with neurofibromatosis or other genetic disorders, extensive monitoring and treatment of the associated conditions are needed. A physician can help in understanding if there are any concerns.  Lasers that target pigment can be used to remove or lighten CALMs[1] 

1.    Polder KD, Landau JM, Vergilis-Kalner IJ, et al. Laser eradication of pigmented lesions: a review. Dermatol Surg.2011;37(5):572-595; PMID: 21492309.