If you are scheduled to undergo a laser based treatment, such as laser hair removal for example, your skin will be assessed according to the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale. This system, developed by dermatologist Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick back in 1975, categorizes skin types according to complexion and ability to withstand sunlight exposure. The system is used in just about all aesthetic medical clinics to predict how your skin will tolerate to a laser skin treatment.
Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale
Skin Type I: White; very fair; freckles; blue eyes; blond or red hair
Always burns and never tans
Skin Type II: White; very fair; freckles; blue, hazel or green eyes; blond or red hair
Usually burns and tans with difficulty
Skin Type III: Beige; fair; any eye or hair colour
Sometimes burns mildly, gradually tans
Skin Type IV: Beige-brown
Rarely burns, tans easily
Skin Type V: Dark brown
Very rarely burns, tans very easily
Skin Type VI: Black
Never burns, tans very easily
It is important for your skin to be categorized according to the Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale because it is a way to predict how your skin may react to irritation, burns and pigmentation problems. This allows your skincare specialist to determine which course of treatment is best, the device to be used, as well as the intensity of laser energy emitted to address your concern.