Definition of Fitzpatrick skin type

fitzpatrick skin typeFitzpatrick skin type is a commonly used classification system for identifying a person’s SKIN characteristics, particularly the likelihood for SUNBURN and developing ACTINIC KERATOSIS and SKIN CANCER.

Dermatologists also use Fitzpatrick skin type as a factor in determining appropriate cosmetic procedures to treat skin blemishes and WRINKLES.

Fitzpatrick Classification Scale for Skin Types

Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classifications
TypeSkin characteristicsSun exposure
type Ivery pale or ruddy; numerous frecklesalways BURNS, never tans; severe SUNBURN (blisters) with unprotected exposure; high risk for SKIN CANCER
type IIpale or light-toned; some freckles mostly on face, shoulders, arms, handsusually burns, lightly tans; moderate sunburn (redness) with unprotected exposure; increased risk for skin cancer
type IIIolivesometimes burns, moderately tans; mild sunburn (pinkness) with unprotected exposure; moderate risk for skin cancer
type IVlight brownseldom burns, easily tans; low risk for skin cancer
type Vbrownrarely burns, darkly tans; seldom develops skin cancer
type VIdark brown to brownish blacknever burns; rarely develops skin cancer

See also SKIN SELF-EXAMINATION.

Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification
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