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Can the skin, eye, and hair color of a person with albinism change?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Yes. For some people with albinism, melanin levels can fluctuate as they age. The result is a change in skin color, eye color, and hair color with time.

Changes in skin, eye, and hair color depend on the type of albinism the person has, as well as on the individual. For example, some people with OCA 1 (oculocutaneous albinism 1) start making melanin in childhood or adolescence, so their skin, eye, and hair color may change somewhat. Other people with OCA 1 do not start making melanin, and so there is no change in skin, eye, or hair pigmentation. Some types of albinism, such as X-linked, do not tend to affect skin tone as much as vision. Still other types of albinism occur mainly among people of certain population groups;thus, skin, eye, and hair coloration may be similar among most people who have certain specific types.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.