A Genetic Disease

What is Albinism?

Albinism is caused by several genetic defects. When a person has Albinism it means that the pigament in there skin is affected. Melanin in the body is unable to be distributed to give color to their hair, eyes and skin.

Characteristics of Albinism

A person with Albinism will lack color in their skin, hair and/or the iris of the eye. Normal skin and hair color will be lighter. Their skin may display missing or patchy color. Sensitivity to light is also a symptom. Therefore, sunglasses and sunglasses and sunscreen are necessary to protect their eyes and skin. At times, a person with Albinism will need to avoid the sunlight altogether. The lifespan of a individual with Albinism is usually not affected. It could be affected if they were diagnosed with Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS), which can be common. If diagnosed with HPS bowl, lung and bleeding disorders may be present.

Causes of Albinism

Albinism is caused by mutation of one of several genes. The chromosones that are affected depend on which type of Albinism that you have. OCA Type 1 affectes chromosone 11. OCA Type 2 affects chormosone 15. It has been reported that mutation has occured in 6 genes. This is what causes different types of Albinism. The tryosinase gene (TSY) and OCA1 gene; OCA2 gene and OCA2 gene; tyrosinase - related protein-1 gene (TYRP1) and OCA3 to just name a few.
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Treatment of Albinism

There is no treatment or cure for Albinism. The goal is to ease the symptoms. Protection from the sun is most important. Using the highest SPF sunscreen and wearing sunglasses is important. Also, covering most of the body with light clothing on a hot, sunny day is best.
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Other Facts

* Congenital hypopigmentary disorders, is also known as Albinism.

* The amount of melanin you have in your skin determines the color of your skin.

* One with Albinism may feel isolated or discriminated against because of the disease.

* Calling a person affected with Albinism a "albino" is bullying.

* Plants and animals can also have Albinism