Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Other Names for this Disease
  • PBT
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Piebaldism is a rare inherited condition characterized by a white forelock (a patch of white hair directly above the forehead). The name piebaldism is derived from the words “pie” (from magpie, which is a black and white bird) and “bald” (from the bald eagle, the US national bird that has a white feathered head). Other features include a white patch on the central portion of the forehead; white eyebrow and eyelash hair; and white patches of skin on the face (particularly the chin), trunk and extremities (hands and feet are not usually affected). This condition is present at birth and usually remains unchanged throughout life. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion and is caused by mutations in the KIT gene.[1]
Last updated: 4/4/2011


  1. Piebaldism. DermNet. Accessed 4/4/2011.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

Please contact us with your questions about Piebaldism. We will answer your question and update these pages with new resources and information.

Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Piebaldism. This website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is an catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Piebaldism. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.