Complications of albinism include physical risks as well as social and emotional challenges.

Skin disorders

One of the most serious complications associated with albinism is the risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Social and emotional factors

The reactions of other people to those with albinism can often have a negative impact on people with the condition:

  • Children with albinism may experience name-calling, teasing or questions regarding their appearance, eyewear or visual aid devices.
  • Many people with albinism find the word "albino" hurtful because they're being labeled simply on the basis of a condition rather than being thought of as individuals.
  • A long history of myths has attributed supernatural powers or deviant personalities to people with albinism.
  • People with albinism usually look very different from members of their own families or ethnic groups and, therefore, may either feel like outsiders or be treated like outsiders.

All of these factors may contribute to social isolation, poor self-esteem and stress.

Apr. 02, 2011