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Fitzpatrick Skin Types

Created in 1972 by Thomas Fitzpatrick, this skin scale is still widely used in dermatology. The scale ranges from I to VI and helps determine the individual’s likelihood of tanning or burning, thus an individual’s susceptibility to skin cancer. Generally, a lower Fitzpatrick skin type indicates skin that burns more easily than it tans, while a higher Fitzpatrick skin type indicates the opposite.

Knowing your skin type determines which treatments and products are effective for you. For example, when having laser or light based procedures performed, those with skin types IV and above would not benefit as much and possibly even with pigmentation side effects. There is criticism that the Fitzpatrick scale is not broad enough, however, it remains adequate in establishing baseline data.

Burning and tanning descriptions of Fitzpatrick Skin Types I - VI


Answer the questions below and add the points

Eye colorlight blue, grey, greenblue, grey, greenbluedark brownbrownish black
Natural hair color?sandy, redblondechestnut, dark blondedark brownblack
Color of non-exposed skin?reddishvery palepale with beige tintlight browndark brown
Freckles on unexposed areas?manyseveral fewincidentalnone
When you stay in the sun too long/Have you ever experienced…painful redness, blistering, peelingblistering followed by peelingburns sometimes followed by peelingrarely burnsnever burns
To what degree do you tan?hardly or not at alllight colored tanreasonable tantans easilyturns dark quickly
Do you tan after several hours after sun exposure?NeverSeldomSometimesOftenAlways
How does your face react to the sun?Very sensitiveSensitiveSome resistanceVery resistantNever had a problem
When did you last expose your skin to sun or a tanning booth/cream?More than 3 months ago2-3 months ago1 -2 months agoLess than 1 month agoLess than 2 weeks ago
Do you expose the area to be treated to the sun?NeverHardly everSometimesOftenAlways
1. Add down each column for subtotal.
2. Add subtotal across for grand total.
_____ +_____ +_____ + _____ +_____ =

What your score means:

Skin Type ScoreFitzpatrick Skin Type
over 30V-VI

1 thought on “Fitzpatrick Skin Types

  1. […] after coming out of the water. Protect your skin all 365 days of the year. Be aware of your skin type and visit your dermatologist annually to screen for skin cancer. Wear protective clothing, […]

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