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Quick Insights about the Fitzpatrick Skin Type

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Quick Insights about the Fitzpatrick Skin Type

Sunday, 20 September 2020

We know all the benefits sunlight has for our organism, but long exposure to UV radiation can produce harm in our skin as redness, sunburns, hyper-pigmentation and even skin cancer. That is why it is very important to follow some advice related to sun exposure as the use of sun protectors.

What is the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale

Each person has a different type of skin so the type of protection will depend on the skin type. It is important to know which our skin type is, what the dermatologists call our skin phototype. What is the phototype? It is the capacity the skin has to tolerate sun radiation, which is related to the amount of melanin present in the skin. To check which is our phototype we need to think in two aspects. One aspect is the genetic characteristics as how is the skin before exposing to sun, eyes and hair colour, ethnic group, and the second aspect depends on how your skin reacts to sun exposure. We can’t modify our phototype as we are born with a specific phototype or skin type.
 
There are different methods to classify skin colour being the main two Von Luschan Scale and Fitzpatrick Scale. The first one considers 36 skin type categories whereas the Fitzpatrick scale considers only six. Both scales are related as there is a correspondence between Fitzpatrick and Von Luschan scales (see Infographic Table). The Fitzpatrick scale is the classification used nowadays as a recognised tool for dermatological research.

fitzpatrick-skin-types
Photo by Anne Shvets

Types of Skin

If you want to know your skin type, do this test that to get a numeric result that will tell your skin type.
 

Type I (0 – 6)


Type I people have normally ivory skin, light eye colour and red or light blonde hair. These people always burn and never tan. They are at high risk of suffering from skin cancer and vascular damage. They should wear always SPF 50+ and try to avoid direct sun exposition. They should stay in the shade and wear protective clothes, hats and sunglasses.

Type II ( 7 to 13)


They are normally fair or pale skin with blue, grey or green eyes and blonde hair. They burn easily and rarely tan and risk of skin cancer and vascular damage is high for them. As type I people, they should wear always SPF 50+ and try to avoid direct sun exposition. They should stay in the shade and wear protective clothes, hats and sunglasses.

Type III (14 to 20)


These people present a fair to beige skin colour, normally with golden undertone. They have hazel or light brown eyes and dark blonde or light brown hair. They sometimes burn and tan gradually. The risk of skin cancer or vascular damage for them is moderate.
They should wear SPF 30+, avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm and cover themselves with a hat and sunglasses.

fitzpatrick-skin-type-1
Photo by Chermiti Mohamed

Type IV (21 To 27)


They have olive or light brown skin and dark brown eyes and hair. They rarely burn and easily tan. The risk of skin cancer and vascular damage is moderate for them but the risk of hyper/hypopigmentation is high and they scar easily.
The advice for these people is to wear SPF 15+ and cover with hat and sunglasses as well as avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm.

Type V (28 to 34)


They present dark brown skin, eyes and hair. Their skin darkens but never burns. The risk of skin cancer and vascular damage is moderate but the risk for hyper/hypopigmentation and scarring is high.
They should wear SPF 15+ and cover with a hat and sunglasses. As well as type IV people, they should avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm.

Type VI (35+)


Their skin is dark brown or black with brownish-black eyes and black hair. They tan easily but never burn. Risk of vascular damage is moderate and risk for ageing from sun exposition is low. For these people, the risk of scarring is high and the risk of hyper/hypopigmentation is very high.
Advice is the same than for people with types IV and V skin. The advice for these people is to wear SPF 15+ and cover with hat and sunglasses as well as avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm.

 

Download the following table to get all the information by clicking in the image.


Let me know in the comment which is your skin type.

 

I love beauty and skincare, try new products, and share my opinion with you. All my knowledge comes from years of experience and reading articles. I have dry skin, Fitzpatrick type IV, warm undertone, and my main concern is hyperpigmentation. Keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you. We are all different and products can have different results on your skin. Want to talk? Email me at contact@irenebeautyandmore.com