Scientists classify vitiligo into three types: non-segmental, segmental and mixed.
Non-segmental vitiligo is the most common type of vitiligo and appears in up to 90% of the people who have the condition.
In non-segmental vitiligo, the white patches appear in both sides of the body equally, that is symmetrically. Most of the time, these depigmented white patches appear on skin daily exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck and hands, but they can also appear on other areas:
- the back surface of the hands
- the eyes
- the knees
- the elbows
- the arms
- the legs
- the mouth
Non-segmental vitiligo is further subcategorized:
- Generalized Vitiligo: this is the most common type of vitiligo. It is not located in a specific area, and the size of patches varies
- Acrofacial Vitiligo: mainly located on the fingers and toes
- Mucosal Vitiligo: depigmentation generally appears around the mucous membranes and the lips
- Universal Vitiligo: depigmentation covers the larger part of the body. This is the rarest type
- Focal Vitiligo: one, or a few scattered patches located in a specific area. This appears usually in small children.
Segmental vitiligo differs from non-segmental. Usually it spreads faster, but is considered more stable than non-segmental. It is far less common and affects only around 10% of the people with vitiligo.
Segmental vitiligo is more noticeable in young ages. It affects about 30% of children diagnosed with vitiligo
As mixed we call the vitiligo which initially appears in the form of segmental vitiligo, but several months later spreads in other areas, thus taking the form of the non-segmental type.