Non-Segmental Vitiligo

What is Non-Segmental Vitiligo?

Non-Segmental Vitiligo is a condition where the pigment on an individual’s skin starts to lose its color creating patches on the body. The patches appear equally on both sides where it is present. Non-segmental vitiligo is the most common. When white patches on the individual’s body are symmetrical as opposed to non-symmetrical then they most likely have non-segmental vitiligo. Around the world, there are about .5 to 2% of people who are affected by this vitiligo and 90% of the time it is non-segmental. Non-segmental vitiligo can affect any individual regardless of their age, gender, or ethnicity. Currently, there is no cure and this condition is usually a lifelong complication. The condition most often appears on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun. This primarily includes the face, neck, and hands.

What Causes Non-Segmental Vitiligo?

Vitiligo happens on a molecular level, the patches of discoloration occur when melanocytes cells in the skin start to die off. These cells are responsible for skin pigment (melanin), which provides coloration and protection from UV rays. What causes these symptoms to start is unknown. Scientists and researchers think it may be due to a virus or autoimmune disorder.

Non-Segmental Vitiligo Symptoms

This condition doesn’t cause discomfort, soreness, or irritation of the skin. Sometimes, however, the edges of the patches get mildly inflamed causing a red hue, resulting in itchiness. Non-segmental vitiligo symptoms vary from person to person. Individuals may have a few small white dots on their body whereas others may have large patches joining together from different regions. Vitiligo usually appears in places where the skin is most exposed to the sun. Other places besides persons face, neck, and hands can develop vitiligo including:

  • Arms
  • Around the eyes
  • Knees
  • Elbows
  • Feet
  • Mouth
  • Armpit and Groin
  • Nose
  • Genitals and rectal area

Non-segmental vitiligo can be broken into subcategories depending on where it presents itself on the body. These categories include:

  • Generalized– This is the most common type. This is when there is no specific area or size of patches.
  • Acrofacial- When the condition presents itself on the fingers or toes.
  • Mucosal- When the condition is mostly present on the mucous membranes and lips.
  • Universal- Very rare, this is when depigmentation covers most of the body.
  • Focal- Usually present in adolescence, this is when white patches develop in discrete areas.

Non-Segmental Vitiligo Treatment

Treatments for non-segmental vitiligo widely vary depending on the severity and preferences of the individual. Since the dots or patches that develop are usually permanent, there are different methods to reduce their appearance. Our skin camouflage cream, Chromelin Complexion Blender, can be used to cover up the affected areas. Steroid creams can restore some of the pigment pigment, and phototherapy can improve the appearance. If an individual’s non-segmental vitiligo becomes inflamed and itchy, moisturizers like Moisture-All can be helpful to protect and hydrate the irritated areas.