Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About Albinism
To understand albinism, you need to first know about melanin (say: MEL-uh-nin). Melanin is a chemical in our bodies that colors our skin, eyes, and hair. It's made by melanocytes (say: muh-LAH-nuh-sytes), which are cells found in the bottom layer of your skin.Sometimes, a kid or an animal might be born whose body can't make a normal amount of melanin. This is what happens with albinism, which can show up as a lack of pigment (color) in the skin, eyes, hair, fur, or feathers of that kid or animal. There are different kinds of albinism. Some kids with albinism might have pale skin or hair. Other types of albinism might affect only the eyes. Most kids with albinism have blue eyes, and others have brownish eyes. In some cases of albinism, a kid's eyes might appear pink or reddish. This isn't because the iris (the colored part of the eye) is pink or red. It's because the iris actually has very little color. The eyes appear pink or red because the blood vessels inside of the eye (on the retina) show through the iris.