- by Dr Vivekananda Bhat
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- Oct 09 2017
What is Albinism? How does one manage this condition?
Albinism is a genetic disorder than occurs amongst people that result’s in absence of pigmentation. The skin, hair and eyes lack pigment partially or completely which also results in defective vision and higher risk of skin cancer and sunburns. In some conditions it affects immunization, which increases the chances of infection.
Melanin is the polymer responsible for determining hair and skin color. It protects the skin from harmful radiations and skin cancers like melanoma. The degree of melanin increases depending on how much the previous generations have been exposed to the sun and this determines the skin color of an individual.
What happens when one has albinism?
Albinism is a condition that arises dues to the lack or complete absence of melanin. This makes the skin more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancers.
Melanin is an important factor for proper development and functioning of optical system. So, reduced melanin levels could result in visual problems.
The problems range from rapid eye movement to extreme sensitivity towards light and glaring.
How do you treat albinism?
Although there is no cure for this condition, people manage to make changes in their lifestyle to get adjusted to it.
A regular checkup with a dermatologist is recommended to ensure skin stays healthy and take preventive measures for sunburns.
For visual problems, special glasses and lenses are available and in some cases even surgery can be of help. The treatment and its effects completely depends on the individual’s condition and how the body responds to treatment.
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