Albinism (overview) E70.3

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Synonym(s)

Albinism; Albinism universally more complete

Definition
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Albinism is the genetic absence of pigment. Clinically, it is a group of genetically different diseases characterized by a generalized or partial hypomelanosis of the skin, hair and eyes (oculocutaneous albinism - OCA) or of the eyes only (ocular albinism). (Note: only albinimus type IA and generalized vitiligo show a complete loss of pimples). The underlying cause is a congenital, mostly autosomal recessive inherited disorder of melanin synthesis with normal intraepidermal melanocyte count.

Classification
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The following entities can be distinguished:

General therapy
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No causal therapy possible, genetic counseling. Regular checks of the skin for carcinomas.

External therapy
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Consistent textile and physical light protection of skin (SPF > 30, e.g. Anthelios) and eyes. Additional cosmetic cover, e.g. Dermacolor.

Internal therapy
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β carotene (e.g. carotaben 25 mg/day p.o.).

Note(s)
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Albinism must be distinguished from piebaldism (called leucism in veterinary medicine), in which melanocytes are completely absent in the depigmented areas due to a gene mutation.

Literature
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  1. Böhm M (2015) Differential diagnosis of hypomelanosis. dermatologist 66: 945-958

Disclaimer

Please ask your physician for a reliable diagnosis. This website is only meant as a reference.

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020