Those with the Fitzpatrick skin type should avoid using tanning beds.
The Fitzpatrick skin type rating system is a means of determining the risk of sunburn and some skin conditions. Developed in 1975 by Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick of Harvard University, the Fitzpatrick skin type classification is used by dermatologists who use laser and light therapy as it can help highlight the risks of bad reactions to treatment. Some critics consider Fitzpatrick’s skin type tests to be subjective and inaccurate, due to only superficial observation of skin tone and color.
People with Fitzpatrick skin types I-II tend to burn easily.
There are six varieties of Fitzpatrick skin type, ranging from extremely pale-skinned people who are highly subjective to burns, to extremely dark-skinned people who may experience severe discoloration with laser or light treatment, or other pigmentation-altering therapies or conditions. . To determine Fitzpatrick’s skin type, several questions are asked about his genetic history, physical attributes such as eye color, hair color, and freckles, and his personal observations of the skin’s reaction to sunlight.
Those with extremely pale skin have a Fitzpatrick skin type of I-II.
Depending on the answers to the determination questions, most people fall into one of six skin categories, usually labeled with Roman numerals I-VI. Critics note that the results can be somewhat subjective and may vary between different sources. The Fitzpatrick Skin Type System should be used as a guideline and not a definitive analysis.
The test to determine skin type is used for a variety of medical and cosmetic applications, especially in laser treatments. Those with a higher level of skin type, such as V-VI, are often prone to overactive melanin production after laser skin or hair treatments. This can cause permanent discoloration or scarring of the skin, and most experts agree that people with skin type V-VI should perform any laser treatment with extreme care.
Sun exposure is strongly discouraged for people with fair skin who are particularly prone to sunburn.
At the other end of the scale, people with skin type I-II are usually pale and can suffer severe sun damage from ultraviolet exposure. These skin types are believed to be highly susceptible to skin cancer, and patients are advised to take extreme care when using sunscreen and protecting from harmful ultraviolet rays. Tanning in tanning beds is also not recommended for people with a tendency to burns, as it can deliver a concentrated dose of ultraviolet light to the skin, resulting in serious damage.
The patient’s skin type can be determined by a dermatologist.
Before subjecting a patient to serious laser treatment, many dermatologists perform a treatment test on a small area of skin in addition to determining Fitzpatrick’s skin type classification. If discoloration occurs, your doctor will usually recommend that you avoid the procedure. To protect your skin, ask dermatologists for these tests and never accept treatment from a doctor who refuses to take safety precautions.
To help determine your skin type on your own, many websites offer complete questionnaires for the Fitzpatrick skin type classification method. Photos are also available to give examples of the physical appearance associated with different skin types. Household determination is not a substitute for a physician’s opinion, and you should consult a dermatologist to have your skin type professionally classified and explained to you.