The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale is a dermatological oldie but goodie that’s been around for decades as a way to categorize who is more or less likely to burn and develop skin cancer.
But today it’s more important than ever to know your Fitzpatrick score, because it helps determine whether you’re a good candidate for certain chemical peels, IPL hair removal and lasers. For example:
- Fitzpatrick Skin Types 1 and 2 doesn’t respond well to IPL hair removal lasers because the hair shaft doesn’t have enough melanin to attract the energy from the laser.
- Fitzpatrick Skin Types 3 thru 5 can have a higher chance of hyper or hypo pigmentation if the wrong peels and lasers are used.
Now I know you’re seeing a board licensed dermatologist or plastic surgeon about these types of treatments, right? But in the event you find yourself caught up in the moment, Groupon in hand at a questionable med-spa, at the very least you have to be armed and dangerous.
You can find out what your Fitzpatrick Skin Type is by taking this test here (I’m a 2). Meanwhile, here are the crib notes:
- Fitzpatrick Scale (Melanoma Foundation)
- How to Use a Fitzpatrick Scale with Beauty Clients (Pamela Hill Institute)
- Fitzepatrick Scale of Skincare (Examiner)
- Fitzpatrick Scale (Wikipedia)