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The Fitzpatrick scale

The Fitzpatrick scale (also Fitzpatrick skin typing test; or Fitzpatrick photo typing scale) is a numerical classification schema for human skin colour. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick as a way to estimate the response of different types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light.

This scale is used by dermatologists and aesthetic medicine practitioners to determine which treatments are best suited for different skin types.

 

Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Type 5 Type 6
Highly sensitive

•Always burns

•Never tans

Example; a person with red hair and freckles. Think fragile like an egg, with super thin skin, almost translucent – bleeds immediately on needle contact

Very sun sensitive

•Burns easily

•Tans minimally

Example; a person who is fair skinned. Fair haired Caucasians

Think grape, thin but not as much as an egg, tiny pores, ivory/fair skin tone.  Can bleed easily, Fitzpatrick 1-2

Sun sensitive skin

•Sometimes burns

•Slowly tans to a light brown

Example; a darker Caucasian

Burns minimally

•Always tans well

•Tans to moderate brown – think

Think apple, small pores, non-translucent, doesn’t bleed easily – this is the preferred skin type Fitzpatrick 2-6

Sun reactions rarely occur

•Minimal freckles

•Almost never burns

•Always tans

Has dark brown or black skin

•Tans easily

•Almost never burns

•This skin type is more prone to keloid scarring

Think orange, large pores, oily skin, can bleed or not at all, Fitzpatrick 2-6

 

 

What number is your skin on the Fitzpatrick scale?

 

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