Type of disease: Rare conditions
Piebaldism is a rare inherited condition characterized by a white forelock (a patch of white hair directly above the forehead). The name piebaldism is derived from the words ÒpieÓ (from magpie, which is a black and white bird) and ÒbaldÓ (from the bald eagle, the US national bird that has a white feathered head). Other features include a white patch on the central portion of the forehead; white eyebrow and eyelash hair; and white patches of skin on the face (particularly the chin), trunk and extremities (hands and feet are not usually affected). This condition is present at birth and usually remains unchanged throughout life. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion and is caused by mutations in the KIT gene. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.