Albinism in children

Albinism in children

Albinism is a genetic disorder that causes depigmentation of the skin, hair and eyes in children. It is a serious condition that predisposes children to many problems, the most serious of them being skin cancer. There is no treatment for it, but it can be controlled by several useful measures

What is Albinism?

Albinism is a genetic disease characterized by changing skin color. In general, children suffering from albinism have very light skin.

What are the causes of albinism?

The disease is genetic, which means it is transmitted from parents to children. Both parents must have the gene for this condition in order for the baby to be born with the disease.

This is why it is considered a rather rare disease.

The condition is caused by a low production or even the absence of a pgment called melanin. It has the role of giving color to the skin, hair and eyes.

What are the symptoms of albinism?

In extreme cases, where the pigment is completely absent, children with albinism have:

  • a very whitish skin;

  • translucent blue eyes (and if there is no pigment at all, the color of the eyes may be rosy);

  • white hair (a very light blonde);

  • vision problems.

However, not all cases of albinism are characterized by the complete absence of melanin, but only by a partial absence. At this the impact of the disease is lower, the color of the skin and hair is more open, but not too much.

Diseases and risks associated with albinism

Sun exposure is extremely dangerous for children suffering from albinism. Skin cancer is the highest risk of this exposure. Also due to sun exposure may also occur:

  • freckles;

  • large spots (pigment-like pigment);

  • moles.

Children with albinism are at increased risk of developing vision problems:

  • rapid and involuntary movements of the eyes;

  • strabismus;

  • myopia;

  • hyperopia;

  • astigmatism.

They can be extremely sensitive to light and may need special glasses to combat the strong sunlight.

How to put the diagostic?

If you notice that your baby's skin is depigmented or that the hair is starting to turn dark and cause vision problems, you should urgently go to your doctor's doctor. A complete diagnostic exam includes:

  • physical examination;

  • ophthalmological examination;

  • history of pigmentation (information on the evolution of skin depigmentation over time: where it first appeared, when, how it manifested etc.)

How is Albinism treated?

Albinism is a disease that has no cure and not many therapeutic methods available to improve the symptoms.

Measures to prevent the severity of the symptoms that are most at hand:

  • children should be isolated and protected as much as possible from sunlight;

  • they need frequent ophthalmological controls;

  • prescribing special eyeglasses depending on the symptoms they present;

  • surgery to correct certain vision problems, where appropriate;

  • applying sunscreen with high SPF, etc.

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