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September 29, 1962

Partial Albinism: Nine Cases in Six Generations

Author Affiliations

Los Angeles
Resident in Dermatology (Doctor Campbell), Instructor in Dermatology (Doctor Swift), Pediatric Dermatology Clinic, Department of Dermatology, White Memorial Hospital and Clinic, Loma Linda University.

JAMA. 1962;181(13):1103-1106. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050390005002

Partial albinism is a rare congenital defect of the skin, in which absence of melanin pigment in various areas is found at birth and is permanent. In contrast to total albinism, it is a genetic dominant, and never involves any organ except the skin. Six members of a Mexican family who have varying degrees of partial albinism have been seen. They all showed the most common feature of the condition, a depigmented strip of hair arising in the frontal area and known as a "white forelock," in addition to other patches of depigmentation. Histologic studies that employed special staining techniques were unable to demonstrate any melanin formation in the white spots. Therapeutic trial, using one of the oral psoralen derivatives, failed to stimulate melanogenesis.

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