Albinism (Hypopigmentation/Albinos) is a genetic disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment called melanin in the skin, hair, and eyes. It is also known as hypo-pigmentation or ocular albinism.
People who are affected by albinism are called albinos. Lack of skin pigmentation makes albinos more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancers.
- It is a very rare disorder, and thereby it is estimated that only 1 in 20,000 people are born with albinism every year.
- People suffering from albinism also tend to have a number of eye problems including impaired vision (even after wearing glasses), photophobia (sensitivity to light) and may even demonstrate involuntary movements of the eye.
- There are four different types of albinism, but a particular form known as ocular albinism type 1 has been estimated to affect at least 1 in 60,000 males, as it is found to be inherited in an X-linked pattern.
- Oculo albinism type 1 and type 2 are a more common form of albinism whereas type 3 (rufous oculocutaneous albinism) and type 4 are more common in southern African, Japanese and Korean populations.
- Genetic mutations are believed to be the main cause of albinism.
- The diagnosis of this condition isnít difficult Ė the paleness makes it pretty obvious when the child is born.
- Infants suffering from albinism may initially appear slower than other infants due to visual problems, but they later develop the ability to cope.
- Individuals suffering from albinism tend to have extremely sensitive skin, which is why they are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer.
- The severity of albinism differs from individual to individual and even among siblings.
- Albinism is an untreatable condition, since the cause of this disease is present at the genetic level. However, eye and skin problems arising as a result of albinism can be treated with the correct approach.
- Contrary to popular belief, albinism doesnít affect an individualís social development.
- Albinism is a health condition that doesnít get worse or aggravated over the time and doesnít exhibit any changes to the life expectancy of an individual.
- People suffering from albinism need take extra care of their skin. Applying sunscreens and moisturizers regularly is necessary, to ensure that their skin remains healthy and protected.
- Albinism is not contagious. It cannot be transferred from person to person through blood transfusion, dermal contact, or via vector (pathogen carrying organism as mosquito carries malaria).
- Not only human beings; plants and animals also suffer from albinism.
- Albinism / Hypopigmentation / Albinos - (http://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/albinism.htm)
- Oculocutaneous albinism - (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/oculocutaneous-albinism#sourcesforpage)
- Ocular albinism - (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/ocular-albinism#)