Albinism

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The word albinism refers to a group of inherited conditions. People with albinism have little or no pigment in their eyes, skin or hair. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about albinism in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Albinism includes a group of inherited disorders that are characterized by little or no production of the pigment melanin.

Albinism is caused by a mutation in one of several genes involved in the production of melanin. A mutation may result in no melanin at all or a significant decline in the amount of melanin.

Signs of albinism are usually, but not always, apparent in a persons skin, hair and eye color. However, all people with the disorder experience vision problems.

Although the most recognizable form of albinism results in white hair and pinkish skin, skin coloring can range from white to brown.

The type and amount of melanin your body produces determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes. Most people with albinism are sensitive to sun exposure and are at increased risk of developing skin cancer.

Although theres no cure for albinism, people with the disorder can take steps to protect their skin and maximize their vision. Some people with albinism may feel socially isolated or experience discrimination.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.