Your Skin Type

What's Your Type?

Skin type

Classifying the amount of melanin transferred to skin's keratin cells, the Fitzpatrick Scale ranges from a numerical value Type I to Type VI. Developed by Harvard dermatologist Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick in 1975, this scale measures several factors such as genetic disposition, tanning habits, and reaction to sun exposure. The following descriptions provide a closer look into this classification system:

Type I: Type I has very fair skin. Freckles are common as well. This person has blond or red hair and light-colored eyes. He or she always burns and never tans.

Type II: Type II is fair skinned, typically with light eyes and light hair. This person burns easily and tans with difficulty.

Type III: Type III is a very common skin type. This person is fair with a beige undertone, but eye and hair color will vary. This type sometimes burns but gradually tans.

Type IV: Type IV has Mediterranean Caucasian skin with medium to heavy brown-beige pigmentation. Type IV rarely burns, always tans.

Type V: Type V describes Mideastern skin. This person is rarely sun sensitive and always tans.

Type VI: Type VI is black skin. He or she never burns and tans very easily.

Though darker skins are typically oiler and thicker, reactions can be just as intense as those on lighter skin. Black skin is prone to hyperkeratosis (excessive cell turnover and dead skin cell buildup), pigmentation disorders and keloid scarring. Therefore, dark skin still needs sun protection and greater exfoliation than fair pigmented skin types. Also, Asian skin has a tendency to become hyperpigmented, so gentle exfoliation and sunscreen is a must.

In the near future, we'll explore the best treatments and products for your specific skin type's needs. Until then, I'd like to hear from you! Email smiller@smail.umaryland.edu with your skin care questions. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

If you would like to make an appointment or talk to someone about our services, please call 410-328-SKIN (7546) or 410-328-FACE (3223).

This page was last updated: July 15, 2013

         
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