DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Albinism. Face of a woman with albinism. Albinism is a genetic disorder characterized by a lack of the pigment melanin that gives colour to the skin, hair and eyes. Affected individuals are called albinos. The woman pictured has very pale skin and the hair of her head, eyebrows and eyelashes is white. Albino eyes are almost transparent at birth, and only darken a small amount, as here. Albinos suffer visual problems including photophobia (intolerance to light) and nystagmus (abnormal flickering movements). The absence of melanin means that the skin cannot tan, it ages quickly and is very prone to cancer if exposed to the sun.
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