Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

Am the first daughter/child of my family and my dad is an albino but am not I just want to know if there's a possibility that I might have one. It's not hereditary because my dad is the only albino amidst his siblings

By Anonymous September 25, 2015 - 1:10am
Rate This

I want to know if it's hereditary because am 25 already and am getting married soon.

Add a Comment1 Comments

HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thank you for your question, it's a very good one and may help our other readers too.

For those that may not know, Albinism refers to a group of rare inherited disorders that are present from birth. Albinism affects the amount of pigment found in the skin, hair, and eyes. People with albinism usually have little to no pigment in their eyes, skin, and hair, but the degree of pigment loss can be quite variable. There are three types of Albinism:

Type 1—persons have complete absence of pigment. Their skin, hair, and eyes lack all pigment from birth, and they do not develop freckles or moles at any time during their lifetimes. This group is divided into several subtypes depending on associated characteristics.

Type 2—persons have decreased pigment, but may still have freckles and moles. This form of albinism is more common among persons of African descent and may be associated with such minimal pigment loss that it is evident only by comparison with other non-affected family members.

Type 3, ocular albinism—is characterized by loss of eye pigment and poor vision without any changes in skin or hair.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 albinism are usually associated with visual problems including nystagmus (abnormal jumping movements of the eyes) and decreased visual acuity, which is frequently not fully improved with glasses or contact lenses.

Albinism occurs as a result of altered genes, which are in most cases inherited from parents. Albinism appears in different forms and may be inherited by one of several modes: autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, or X-linked.

Autosomal recessive inheritance accounts for the vast majority of cases. This means that while both parents carry one copy of an abnormal gene, they have no symptoms or signs of albinism. Children become affected only if they inherit one affected gene from each parent. In this form of inheritance, each child has a one-in-four chance of inheriting the condition. The abnormal gene reduces (or completely eliminates) the body’s ability to make a pigment called melanin. There are several dozen different genetic subtypes of albinism which affect melanin production. Individuals can have full or partial absence of this pigment which will affect the color of eyes, hair, and skin.

Risk Factors
A risk factor is something that increases your chances of getting a disease or condition. Albinism is a hereditary disorder. Therefore, people at risk of inheriting albinism are:

Children of parents who have albinism
Children of parents who do not have albinism, but carry the altered genes that cause this disorder
A positive family history for albinism in a sibling or other relative
Puerto Rican ancestry (this significantly increases the risk of an otherwise rare form of albinism known as Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome)

Albinism is rare. In the United States, about 1 in 17,000 individuals overall has some form of albinism. All races are affected, though Type 1 occurs predominantly in whites and Type 2 in blacks. Most children with albinism are born to parents with normal hair and skin color for their ethnic background.

So as you can see, there is some risk that you may pass on this to a child but you may want to contact a genetic counselor to see what the extent of that risk is.

I hope this information helps and best of luck to you,

September 25, 2015 - 5:21am
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.


Get Email Updates

Albinism Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!