Melanin is a substance found in our skin, eyes and hair, it is produced by melanocytes, which are cells found in the bottom layer of your skin. A person born with albinism does not produce a normal amount of melanin, which can show up as a lack of pigment (color) in the skin, eyes, hair. A defect in one of several genes that produce or distribute melanin causes albinism. The defect may result in the absence of melanin production, or a reduced amount of melanin production. The defective gene passes down from both parents to the child and causes albinism.