Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Albinism (Skin Pigmentation Disorder)

Skin Pigmentation Disorder: Albinism

Albinism is a skin pigmentation disorder that is caused by the absence of skin pigments. This results in pale or white skin as melanin, the determinant for skin color, is not present. Excessive absence of melanin results in visual problems and may lead to a higher potential diagnosis with skin cancers. (since individuals with albinism lack the dark pigment melanin, which protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation [sunlight])

  • This picture features an African boy with albinism. The lack of skin pigmentation resulted in the pale and white skin. 

Causes of Albinism

Albinism is caused by the inheritance of genetically recessive alleles (genes) passed from both parents. This causes the lack of skin pigmentation as the albinism genes are inherited rather than the dominant alleles. In short, the skin pigmentation is altered by genetic defects.

Kenosha Robinson, an African-American woman who was born with albinism
(click on the following link to get her say on the story)


Treatment for albinism usually includes only those of visual rehabilitation, such as surgery to remove common refractive errors, glasses and other vision aids to improve vision.

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