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What’s your Fitzpatrick skin type?

What’s your Fitzpatrick skin type?
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Skin rejuvenation Melbourne sun damageThe Fitzpatrick skin type scale was developed to help dermatologists determine what type of skin a person has and how it reacts to the sun. This allows for better understanding of what the best treatments and preventatives are. This system was developed in 1975 and remains in use today as a way to determine skin type and skin cancer risk.

Self-reporting skin type – as in, you decide to give it a try – was found to be less accurate than when a dermatologist does it, which makes sense. A dermatologist knows what to look for, and can see more subtle differences. It’s also true that you may fit into more than one category, so this is a guide only. Six different skin types emerged from the initial screening.

Fitzpatrick skin type 1

  • Ivory skin before sun exposure
  • Light blue, grey or green eyes
  • Naturally blonde or red hair
  • In the sun, skin always burns, always peels
  • Freckles appear
  • Doesn’t tan

Fitzpatrick skin type 2

  • Skin is fair before sun exposure
  • Blue, grey or green eyes
  • Naturally blonde hair
  • In the sun, skin burns and peels often
  • Freckles often appear
  • Not a good tanner

Fitzpatrick skin type 3

  • Before sun, skin is darker shade of pale with gold tone
  • Hazel or brown eyes
  • Naturally dark blonde or light brown hair
  • In the sun, skin may freckle
  • Occasionally burns
  • Tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 4

  • Olive or light brown skin
  • Dark brown eyes
  • Naturally dark brown hair
  • In the sun, does not often burn
  • Does not usually develop freckles
  • Often tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 5

  • Brown or dark brown skin
  • Dark brown eyes
  • Naturally dark brown or black hair
  • Rarely freckles
  • Hardly ever burns in the sun
  • Always tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 6

  • Dark brown to black skin
  • Brownish black eyes
  • Naturally black hair
  • Never freckles in the sun
  • Never burns
  • Always develops dark tan

The amount of melanin your skin is able to produce in response to UV rays will determine which skin type you are. If you know your skin type, you can adequately protect yourself from the sun, and avoid sun damage and early signs of ageing.

Skin types 1 and 2 should be very diligent with sunscreen use, as there is a high risk of sun damage and premature ageing of the skin. Skin cancer remains a higher risk for these types.

Types 3 to 6 still have a cancer risk, but it is lower. Use sunscreen and protect your skin to avoid premature ageing.

We can help undo sun damage with skin rejuvenation procedures.
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