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Albinism

Why do albino people have white skin and red eyes?

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August 14, 2009 4:10AM

Albinism is a group of genetic conditions that causes a lack of pigment. It can effect only the eyes (ocular albinism) or both the eyes and skin (oculocutaneous albinism). Most types of albinism are inherited when an individual receives the albinism gene from both parents. The exception is one type of ocular albinism which is passed on from mothers to their sons.

Generally, people with albinism have blue or slate gray eyes. Some people with greater amounts of pigment have green or hazel eyes. Those with lessor amounts of pigment will have an eye color that has a reddish tint to it. Because the eye of the person with albinism has an iris which does not block out light, a flash photo of someone with albinism may show the light of the flash reflected off of the back of the eye, giving the appearance in a photograph that they have red eyes.

For more info on albinism in humans check out this site:

http://www.albinism.org/