The Fitzpatrick Skin Type and Why You Should Know It

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Six women with different skin types
The Fitzpatrick skin type scale helps people know how to protect from UV rays.

The Fitzpatrick skin type scale represents a way through which people’s skin type is classified according to how it reacts when it comes to sun exposure. This scale contains six major types of skin, ranging from Type I, which never tans but always burns when exposed to the sun, to Type VI, that never burns in the sun.

The skin type scale was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick. He wanted to estimate how different kinds of skin react to UV rays. However, irrespective of your skin type, you should know that too much sun exposure can damage any skin. For instance, people who have type I and type II skin face the highest risk of skin problems due to sun exposure, being the most susceptible to photoaging.

The score you get on the scale depends on factors like, how many freckles you have, natural hair color, eye color and your own experience when it comes to sun exposure.

The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale

Type I

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You have very fair skin which tends to burn when exposed to the sun. Therefore, you are very susceptible when it comes to skin damage and skin cancers. It is advisable to use a sunscreen with SPF 30. Furthermore, you should stay in the shade as much as possible.

Type II

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You are more likely to get skin burns from sun exposure, but you merely tan. This means that you can easily suffer skin damages, becoming susceptible for skin cancers, too. Specialists indicate that you should use a sunscreen with SPF 30.

Type III

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For this skin type, the amount of chances of sun burns may equal the amount of tan one gets. However, you are still predisposed to skin cancers and other mild skin issues. Avoid staying in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.

Type IV

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People who have this type of skin are pretty lucky because they can get a nice tan. Their skin is less likely to burn. Nevertheless, make sure you protect your skin because you are still at risk from sun exposure damage. Use a sunscreen protection with SPF 15.

Type V

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If you have this skin type, your skin tans incredibly easy, and you rarely experience sunburns. However, just to make sure, you should better use a sunscreen with SPF 15. Darker-skinned people are more likely to be affected by acral lentiginous melanoma. Check your skin on a regular basis to trace any changing because this condition can appear on parts of the body which are not necessarily exposed to the sun.

Type VI

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Your skin does not burn, but you may still be at risk of skin cancer if you lay in the sun for too many hours. Use a sunscreen with SPF 15.

It is extremely important to protect our skin depending on our skin type. Every type of skin requires different care. Therefore, make sure you find out which skin type you have and use the appropriate type of sunscreen. Also, pay attention to the interval of sun exposure because this is crucial. Make sure you protect your skin every day when out in the sun, even if you are not going to the beach or the pool.

Summing up

The Fitzpatrick skin type scale helps you figure out what type of skin care you have to make sure you offer it enough protection. Stay in the shade as recommended and do not lie in the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are the most dangerous.

Image Source: Skin Bar NYC

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