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How does vitiligo progress?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The type of vitiligo you have may determine how the disease progresses. In vitiligo, pigment cells in the skin and hair die, causing those areas to lose color and appear lighter or even white compared to surrounding skin. There are two types of vitiligo: segmental and non-segmental.

In segmental vitiligo, also called unilateral vitiligo, color loss occurs on one segment of skin, such as a leg, arm, or face. About half of people lose some hair color. It typically starts early in life, progresses for about a year, then stops.

Non-segmental vitiligo is more common than the segmental type. Also known as bilateral or generalized vitiligo, it often occurs in an on again/off again pattern in which your skin loses color in fits and starts throughout your life. Color loss typically begins on the hands, feet, or face, affecting both extremities or both sides of the face at the same time.

Ask your doctor or dermatologist for more information about your type of vitiligo.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.