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ABSTRACT: Vitiligo is often classified into three types, generalized, segmental, and localized, on the basis of their distribution pattern. It is also classified into type A (non-dermatomal or non-segmental) and type B (dermatomal or segmental) vitiligo on the basis of both the distribution pattern and physiological function. The natural courses of type A and type B vitiligo are characteristic and quite different from each other. Whereas type A vitiligo appears at any age and progresses throughout the patient's life span, type B vitiligo affects the young and stabilizes within a few years. Segmental type vitiligo corresponds to type B, and generalized type vitiligo is the late stage of type A. However, no one has observed the course and character of localized type vitiligo, and its nosological position in A/B classification is unclear. We followed 44 cases of localized type vitiligo for periods of 6 months to 8 years. In 3 of the 44 patients, new white patches developed within the same dermatome as their affected areas in the first 12 months and stabilized in a short period. Therefore, these patients were diagnosed as type B vitiligo. In 15 patients, vitiligo developed in other dermatomal areas; the earliest case at 9 months, and others later on. The new white patches continue to develop for a long period, so these patients were diagnosed with type A vitiligo. In 26 of the 44 patients, the vitiligo remained localized within the period of observation. It is concluded that most localized type vitiligo is the early stage of type A, but a small number of cases belong to the early stage of type B.
The Journal of Dermatology 02/2002; 29(1):15-9. · 1.77 Impact Factor