DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Albinism. Close-up of the eye of a 37-year-old 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 skin pictured here is very pale and the hair of the eyebrows and eyelashes is white. Albino eyes are almost transparent at birth but typically darken slightly with age, as seen 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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