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 Albinism is caused by mutations in one of several genes, and most types are inherited in an autosomal recessive manner. Although there's no cure, people with the disorder can take steps to improve vision and avoid too much sun exposure.Albinism is a group of inherited disorders that results in little or no production of the pigment melanin, which determines the color of the skin, hair and eyes. Melanin also plays a role in the development of certain optical nerves, so all forms of albinism cause problems with the development and function of the eyes. Other symptoms can include light skin or changes in skin color; very white to brown hair; very light blue to brown eye color that may appear red in some light and may change with age; sensitivity to sun exposure; and increased risk of developing skin cancer.
Last updated: 5/24/2016
- Albinism. Mayo Clinic. April 19, 2014; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/albinism/basics/definition/con-20029935.
- Haldeman-Englert C, Zieve D. Albinism. MedlinePlus. October 27, 2015; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001479.htm.
- Information Bulletin - What is Albinism?. NOAH. 2015; http://www.albinism.org/site/c.flKYIdOUIhJ4H/b.9253761/k.24EE/Information_Bulletin__What_is_Albinism.htm.
- DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers.
- A Positive Exposure program called FRAME has an educational film about albinism that was created to change how medical information is presented to healthcare professionals. FRAME stands for Faces Redefining the Art of Medical Education. Positive Exposure is an organization that uses photography, film, and narrative to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical, intellectual, and behavioral differences.