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May 1961

Studies on Albinism: The Demonstration of Dopa-Positive Melanocytes in Albino Skin

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology (Clarence S. Livingood, M.D., Chairman), Henry Ford Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(5):723-729. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580110011002

In a previous paper1 we have reported the results of silver and dopa reactions performed on normal and vitiliginous skins. It seems pertinent to do similar studies on the skins of patients suffering from incomplete generalized albinism. Incidental to these studies, which entailed exposing our subjects to progressively increasing doses of ultraviolet light, we were able to observe these patients during their change in capacity to tolerate sunlight.

Incomplete generalized albinism has been defined as a congenital failure to form melanin pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes. As far as we know, complete albinism in humans does not occur.

Materials and Methods  Our patients were 5 typical albinos: 4 Caucasians and 1 Negro. Their hair color varied from offwhite to light straw color; all of them exhibited nystagmus; 2 had the classical pink reflex to light in their eyes; the irises of 4 patients were blue, and those

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