What is segmental & non-segmental vitiligo?

non-segmental-vitiligo,nathalie pelletierI’ve had vitiligo for over 14 years and a few weeks ago, after reading that Scenesse® works on non-segmental vitiligo, I realized that not only do I not know what type of vitiligo I have; I don’t even know the difference between segmental and non-segmental vitiligo. I figured that I can’t be the only one who never looked into this, so I thought I’d share what I learned about them with you here… and I’m going to put it in layman’s terms.

Non-segmental vitiligo (a.k.a. vitiligo vulgaris and NSV) is the most common of the 2 types of vitiligo. It is often characterized by white patches that are generalized (seen anywhere on your body), symmetrical (if it’s on one side of your body, it’s in the same place on the other side. eg. both hands, both elbows, both feet, etc.) and increase in size over time.

Segmental vitiligo (a.k.a. SV and asymetric vitiligo) looks like NSV but the term Focal is used because it is a limited area.

And finally, to confuse matters when self-diagnosing, NSV and SV can coexist, so you could have both. This is classified as Mixed vitiligo.

After reading this, remember that I am not a doctor and I have had no formal medical training. These definitions are my summarizations of the definitions I have read in medical journals and books.

types of vitiligoPicture A: Segmental vitiligo: unilateral depigmented macules that do not cross the midline and follow Blaschko lines.

Picture B: Nonsegmental vitiligo: bilateral and symmetrical distribution of depigmented macules.


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