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What is Albinism?
by TeenHelp April 13th 2022, 02:06 AM

What is Albinism?
By Hollie (Everglow.)

Albinism is a genetic condition caused by a lack of pigment called melanin in the skin, eyes and hair. As a result of this, people who have albinism may appear paler, and may have very light hair and eyes. Albinism can affect people of any nationality or skin colour, and also occurs in the animal world! Albino animals are very light in colour, and will often have red or pink eyes - a trait that can also be sometimes seen in people under certain light conditions. In the human world, albinism rates vary greatly depending on which part of the world you live in - in the USA it occurs in one out of every 18,000-20,000 births, while in other areas it is as common as one in every 3,000 (https://www.albinism.org/information...t-is-albinism/)

As well as looking physically different due to having less melanin, albinism also causes other issues for people who have it. One of the main considerations for people with albinism is their eyesight. People with albinism will very often have lower levels of vision and need to wear glasses or contact lenses to help with this. In some cases, albinism can contribute towards somebody being considered legally blind, or severely partially sighted. The eyes are also affected in other ways, sometimes by a condition called nystagmus, whereby the eye moves involuntarily, or an increased sensitivity to light. Despite this, people who have albinism are often able to adapt with the correct help and tools, and live very normal lives.

People with Albinism are also more prone to skin conditions, such as sunburn or skin cancer, due to the lower levels of melanin in their skin, which usually helps to protect them. Melanin is what causes some people in hotter parts of the world to have darker skin, which in turn means they are better equipped to cope with the intense levels of sun. When somebody has less melanin, it means the skin is less protected and additional protection may need to be applied. For example, using stronger, or more sun cream to protect more against the sun, or wearing hats or clothing with more coverage.

Albinism can affect every person with the condition differently. For some people, skin and hair may appear unaffected, while for others skin, hair and eyes may all be affected. It is not a contagious condition, and while it can be passed on genetically, it usually requires both of a person's parents to carry the albinism gene. Even then, there is still only a 25% chance that a baby born to parents such as these will have albinism (https://www.albinism.org/information...t-is-albinism/).

National Albinism Awareness Day falls on 13th June each year, and aims to tackle any misconceptions that might influence how a person with albinism is perceived by others. It also aims to reduce violence and crimes against people with Albinism worldwide, especially in parts of the world where this is common. Awareness days such as this one promote the idea that Albinism is not a condition to be scared of or worried about, and prevents people with albinism being excluded or feared. Knowing about conditions such as albinism helps to encourage the world to adapt to the needs of others and improves accessibility and understanding.
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Re: What is Albinism? - April 13th 2022, 06:46 AM

Yep. That's still something strange. That makes you almost a "vampire".
I'm still scared of that.
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Re: What is Albinism? - April 18th 2022, 03:05 PM

Originally Posted by Astro04 View Post
Yep. That's still something strange. That makes you almost a "vampire".
I'm still scared of that.
I think that's how articles like this help. They can explain and educate and hopefully, in time, resolve any myths, fears, or concerns people might have.

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