Albinism affects the production of melanin, the pigment that colours skin, hair and eyes.

People with albinism have a reduced amount of melanin or no melanin at all, which can cause characteristic signs andsymptoms often obvious from birth.

Depending on the amount of melaninthe person has, they may have very pale hair, skin and eyes,although some people with albinism can have brown or ginger hair and skin that can tan.

People with albinism also usually have a number of eye conditions, such as:

  • problems with eyesight they may benefit from wearing glasses, although these can't usually fully correct vision
  • nystagmus (involuntary eye movements)
  • photophobia (sensitivity to light )

Without melanin, ultraviolet (UV) raysin sunlight can easily damage their skin ( Sunburn ) and increase their risk of developing skin cancer .

This helps scientists look for better ways to prevent and treat this condition. You can opt out of the register at any time.

Find out more about the register .

The 100,000 Genomes Project

You may be invited to take part in the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Your DNA will be studied to find out more about the cause of your albinism. The aim is to create a new personalised medicine service for the NHS. This should transform the way people are cared for.

Find out if you might be able to take part .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 30 Nov 2016