The Fitzpatrick Scale: What Skin Type Are You?

What Skin Type Are You?

Want to know your skin type? See the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale to help identify your skin type.

The Fitzpatrick Scale1

Skin Type Description
Type I Always burns in the sun, never tans, light color hair and eyes
Type II Usually burns in the sun, tans with difficulty, light skin, light colored hair
Type III Sometimes burns in the sun, but usually tans, darker eyes, slight coloring of the skin
Type IV Rarely burns in the sun, tans easily, dark eye color, definitive darkening skin color
Type V Very rarely burns in the sun, dark hair and eye color
Type VI Very dark skin color, dark course hair, dark eyes

Below is a chart highlighting the different lasers and wavelengths that are available and what skin types they can safely treat. Highlighted are the lasers used in our office for Laser Hair Removal:

Laser Used to Treat
Alexandrite Laser (755) Laser Hair Removal & Tattoo for Fair Skin (Skin Types I-III)
YAG (1064) Laser Hair Removal & Tattoo Removal for Darker Skin (Skin Types IV-VI) / Laser Facial for the Treatment of Rosacea / Facial Vessels / Leg Veins / Cherry Angiomas
IPL (Intensed Pulsed Light) Pigmented Lesions / Sun Damage
Affirm Skin Rejuvenation / Skin Tightening / Scars / Stretch Marks
C02 Acne Scars / Reduce Pore Size & Tighten Skin / Skin Resurfacing
Q-Switched YAG Laser tattoo removal (skin types I-VI)
Smartlipo (1064/1320/1440) Laser assisted liposuction. Safe for all skin types (I-VI). Melts fat and tightens skin / Cellulaze utilized just the 1440nm wavelength to melt fat, cut connective tissue and illicit healing response from the body
SculpSure (1060) Destroys and melts fat when used topically on the skin. Safe for all skin types (I-VI)

 

Citations
1. Ward WH, Lambreton F, Goel N, et al. Clinical Presentation and Staging of Melanoma. In: Ward WH, Farma JM, editors. Cutaneous Melanoma: Etiology and Therapy [Internet]. Brisbane (AU): Codon Publications; 2017 Dec 21. TABLE 1, Fitzpatrick Classification of Skin Types I through VI. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK481857/table/chapter6.t1/ doi: 10.15586/codon.cutaneousmelanoma.2017.ch6
About the Author

Jay M. Kulkin, MD, FACOG

Dr. Jay M. Kulkin is the Founder and Medical Director of WIFH. Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Kulkin was one of the first physicians in Georgia to use lasers in a surgical setting. He has more than 30 years of experience as a cosmetic laser specialist, and has trained numerous physicians around the United States and abroad on his surgical laser techniques. He has been a featured speaker on the safety and effectiveness of lasers on varying skin types.