Vitiligo is a skin condition in which patches of skin lose their color and become white. Typically, the affected area of skin varies between different individuals who are suffering from this disease. Moreover, vitiligo also affects eyes, hair, and even inside of the mouth, so patients necessarily need to consult a reliable skin specialist. Mostly those affected areas become discolored, and that discoloration usually remains for the rest of the patient’s life.

Furthermore, Vitiligo is a photosensitive disease. The affected areas of a patient are somehow more sensitive to sunlight than other parts of the body. The spread of disease might take some time like it may take several weeks or months or years for spreading. Additionally, it is hard to predict whether the patches will spread and by how much, or remain stable. On people with dark or tanned skin, these patches tend to be more visible.

Types of Vitiligo

Vitiligo is primarily of two basic types: non-segmental and segmental. Let’s see them one by one in detail:

In non-segmental vitiligo the initial white patches are symmetrical. If the patches are only in one area of the body, then the development of vitiligo will be slightly slower. About 90 % of cases of vitiligo are of the non-segmental vitiligo type and do not necessarily need to be checked by a dermatologist. These patches with some measures of symmetry often appear equally on both sides of the body. Usually, they appear on that area of skin that is commonly exposed to the sun like the face, hands, and neck.

However, it may also occur on other body parts including

Moreover, non-segmental vitiligo is divided into the following subcategories:

  1. Generalized: There is no special area or size of patches. This is the most prevalent type.
  2. Acrofacial: This happens mostly on the face, in the scalp, on the fingers or toes, and around the genitals.
  3. Mucosal: This occurs mostly around the lips and mucous membranes.
  4. Universal: This is a very rare condition and Depigmentation covers most of the body.
  5. Focal: In a discrete area there are one or a few scattered white patches that develop. It most often happens in young children.

It is considered more constant, stable, and less erratic and spreads more rapidly as compared to the non-segmental type vitiligo. Generally, it affects about 10% of people, so is less common. Moreover, it happens in early ages groups and is non-symmetrical. About 30% of children are mostly diagnosed with this vitiligo type by a professional skin specialist. Furthermore, segmental vitiligo mostly affects those areas of skin that are attached to nerves arising in the dorsal roots of the spine. Dermatologists can treat it with some topical treatments to some extent.

There may also be a combination of both segmental and non-segmental vitiligo in some people. This particular condition is called mixed vitiligo.

That type is mostly seen in people with dark skin tones. In this type, a few scattered white patches develop on the trunk and scalp of an individual.

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