Complications of albinism include skin disorders as well as social and emotional challenges.
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 looks rather than being thought of as individuals.
- People with albinism usually look very different from members of their own families or ethnic groups, so they may feel like outsiders or be treated like outsiders.
All of these factors may contribute to social isolation, poor self-esteem and stress.
April 19, 2014
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Nov. 21, 2013.
- Albinism. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic_disorders/pigmentation_disorders/albinism.html?qt=&sc=&alt=. Accessed Nov. 21, 2013.
- Levin AV, et al. Albinism for the busy clinician. Journal of AAPOS. 2011;1:59.
- What is albinism? National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH). http://www.albinism.org/publications/2010/What_is_Albinism.pdf. Accessed Nov. 21, 2013.
- Summers CG. Albinism: Classification, clinical characteristics and recent findings. Optometry and Vision Science. 2009;86:659.
- Gronskov K, et al. Oculocutaneous albinism. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 2007;2:43.
- Brodsky MC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 15, 2013.
- Hand JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 13, 2013.
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