The reality of Vitiligo is it is not fully understood so the diagnosis and prognosis you get from your doctor is not final. Your condition can spread slowly or at a quicker pace or not spread at all, it can also go into remission with pigmentation returning without ever leaving any signs you ever had Vitiligo. Generally the progression is slow but this is a generalization that can be wrong. Categorizing the disease into different types gives doctors some parameters to more accurately diagnose your Vitiligo and recommend treatment based on these parameters.
Segmental Vitiligo is also known as unilateral or localized Vitiligo and may only appear in one part or area of your body. This form of Vitiligo is not as common as non-segmental Vitiligo appearing in younger patients and with only one in ten conditions being diagnosed as segmental.
Non-segmental Vitiligo is also called bilateral or generalized Vitiligo because the symptoms appear on both sides of your body. The appearance of a patch in one part of your body such as your left knee will be followed by a patch on your right knee shortly after.
Segmental and Non-segmental Sub-types:
Acral or Acrofacial Vitiligo – this is when you loose pigmentation on your extremities such as your fingers and toes. It can also appear on your face around your eyes and lips as well as your genitals and around the anus.
Focal Vitiligo or Vitiligo areata – in this case the patches happen in few isolated areas without any discernable pattern on your body.
Mucosal Vitiligo – this type of Vitiligo affects the mucous membrane of your mouth and genitals.
Vitiligo Universalis – as the name implies this type of Vitiligo results in a complete or almost complete depigmentation of your whole body.
Multichrome Vitiligo – symptoms of this type of Vitiligo have different degrees of pigmentation on the skin, it is most commonly seen in patients with darker skin.
Since there is a possibility your Vitiligo will change as time goes; how it evolves will also require new classifications.
Getting your symptoms diagnosed as soon as possible gives you the best chance to stop your Vitiligo from spreading and starting the healing process