The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale was developed to measure how skin reacts to sun exposure (i.e. how we burn and how we tan).
This is absolutely vital information for an aesthetic Doctor or Therapist to know before an appropriate treatment or Solution is prescribed for a patient.
A patient’s Fitzpatrick Skin Type plays a huge role in determining Laser settings, treatment depths, downtime, and whether or not a patient is an appropriate candidate for a particular treatment or whether their skin type is, in fact, contra-indicated to any treatments.
Should a doctor or therapist’s skin analysis not take into account the patient’s Fitzpatrick Skin Type, there can be all sorts of negative side effects, including PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), burning, scarring, and even hypo-pigmentation (pigment destruction or complete loss of pigment).
There are six skin types to consider when performing any aesthetic laser treatment or procedure;
- Fitzpatrick skin type 1(i) – typically has a light, ivory skin but when exposed to the sun always burns and peels but never tans.
- Fitzpatrick skin type 2 (ii) – has a light, fair complexion and burns quickly when exposed to the sun and rarely tans.
- Fitzpatrick skin type 3 (iii) – usually has a beige tint to the skin and may burn when exposed to the sun, but is capable of tanning.
- Fitzpatrick skin type 4 (vi) – this is a person with olive skin or light brown tone and will not freckle when exposed to the sun. This person rarely gets a sunburn and tans regularly.
- Fitzpatrick skin type 5 (v) – is a dark brown or black skin tone, rarely gets a sunburn, and always tans under sun exposure.
- Fitzpatrick skin type 6 (vi) – is black and is the darkest skin tone. This person never burns and tans quickly when exposed to the sun.