At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Are the Symptoms of Albinism?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

Symptoms of albinism typically involve the skin, hair, and eyes of the affected person, although other symptoms may develop as well. The color of the skin is generally lighter than that of the parents or other family members, and exposure to the sun may cause freckles or moles to develop. A lack of pigment usually affects the hair as well, leading to a variety of possible hair colors, depending on the severity of the condition as well as the race of the affected person. Vision problems and loss of pigment of the eyes are common symptoms of albinism as well. Any specific questions or concerns about symptoms of albinism in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Skin-related symptoms of albinism are common and may vary in severity from one person to another. The most easily recognized form of albinism involves pale white skin, but this is not always the case. The skin may appear light brown or contain patches of skin that are devoid of any pigment. A person with albinism must take special precautions when spending time in the sun, as the skin is more prone to damage caused by direct sunlight, such as sunburn or some forms of skin cancer. Any freckles or moles that appear on the skin should be periodically observed by a doctor so that any changes can be detected as soon as possible.


Some symptoms of albinism are known to affect the hair. It is commonly believed that all people with albinism have white or pale blonde hair, although other colors are possible as well. Yellow, red, or brown hair may occur among those of traditionally darker races.

There are several potential symptoms of albinism that can affect the eyes. Usually there is a lack of pigment present in the eyes, often causing them to appear to be red. Visual disturbances are common among those with albinism and may lead to partial or complete blindness in the most severe cases.

Additional symptoms of albinism may affect some people with this disease, although every patient will not have all of these symptoms. Many with this condition have frequent infections or bleed easily. Gastrointestinal and nervous system disorders are also frequently found among those with albinism. Hearing loss may occur, sometimes leading to complete deafness. A condition known as lung fibrosis often affects people with this disorder and may lead to varying degrees of breathing difficulty.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Nurse