Albinism is characterized by a lack of the pigment melanin in skin, hair and eyes. There are two main forms of albinism.

The first affects just the eyes with eyes looking red or purple instead of typical colors. Patients may also have lighter skin and hair than parents, but there is melanin present in hair and skin. The second form of albinism is much more recognizable as no melanin is present in hair, eyes or skin. As is the case with the first type, eyes will appear red or purple.

The most common side effect of albinism affects vision. Albinos, as people with albinism are often called, may be more likely to suffer from Nystagmus, Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism. Other than disorders of the eye, albinos tend to be just as healthy as other children. The disorder is present in humans and many animal species. In animals, fur or feathers will lack melanin.