Skin Type


Which Type of Skin Do You Have?

  Skin Color Hair Color Eye Color Tanning Family Tree
Type 1          
Type 1 Pale or Milky White Freckles Red or Blonde Blue, Green or Hazel Always Burns Celtic Ancestry: Irish, Welsh, Scandinavian, Scottish or Breton
           
Type 2          
Type 2 Very Light Brown; Some Freckles Blonde or Light Brown Blue, Green or Hazel Sometimes Tans, but Usually Burns Average Caucasian
           
Type 3          
Type 3 Light Brown or Olive Light to Dark Brown Hazel or Brown Rarely Burns Tans Well Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian and Hispanic
           
Type 4          
Type 4 Brown or Dark Brown Dark Brown or Black Brown Rarely Burns, Tans Very Rapidly Asia, Middle Eastern, Black Hispanic, African, African-American & Carribean
           

These 4 types of skin are present in almost every region in the world. The family tree column is mentioning the majority in the referring countries or regions.

Adapted from the Fitzpatrick Skin Typing Test:
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment..

Fitzpatrick Skin Typing Test
This skin type test is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a your skin.
  • Skin type is often categorized according to the Fitzpatrick skin type scale which ranges from very fair (skin type I) to very dark (skin type VI).
  • The three main factors that influence skin type are:
    • Genetic disposition: Skin type is determined genetically and is one of the many aspects of your overall appearance, which also includes color of eyes, hair, etc..
    • Reaction to sun exposure The way your skin reacts to sun exposure is another important factor in correctly assessing your skin type.
    • Tanning habits: How often do you tan?

Genetic Disposition
Score 0 1 2 3 4
What are the color of your eyes? Light Blue, Gray or Green Blue, Gray or Green Blue Dark Brown Brownish Black
What is the natural color of your hair? Sandy Red Blond Chestnut/Dark Blond Dark Brown Black
What is the color of your skin (non exposed areas)? Reddish Very Pale Pale with Beige Tint Light Brown Dark Brown
Do you have freckles on unexposed areas? Many Several Few Incidental none
Total Score for Genetic Disposition: _______
           
Reaction to Sun Exposure
Score 0 1 2 3 4
What happens when you stay in the sun too long? Painful redness, blistering, peeling Blistering followed by peeling Burns sometimes followed by peeling Rare Burns Never had Burns
To What degree do you turn brown? Hardly or not at all Light color tan Reasonable tan Tan very easy Turn Dark Brown Quickly
How deeply do you tan? Not at all or very little Lightly Moderately Deeply Very Deeply
How does your face react to the sun? Very Sensitive Sensitive Normal Very Resistant Never had a Problem
Total Score for Reaction to Sun Exposure: _______
           
Tanning Habits
Score 0 1 2 3 4
When did you last expose your body to sun (or artificial sunlamp)? More than 3 months ago 2-3 months ago 1-2 months ago Less than a month ago Less than 2 weeks ago
Total Score for Tanning Habits: _______
Add up the total scores for each of the three sections for your Skin Type Score. Then check the skin type description below.
Skin Type Score   Fitzpatrick Skin Type  
0-7     I    
8-16     II    
17-25     III    
25-30     IV    
over 30     V-VI    

You may find that you are in the extremes of two types. You may have features from both. Though everyone is at risk for damage as a result of excessive sun exposure, people with skin types I and II are at the highest risk.

Type I: Extremely fair skin, always burns, and never tans.
You are extremely susceptible to the UV radiation. Your are at risk for an early onset of skin damage, that may results in photo aging as well as cancers. Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma are the most common types of skin cancer. Practicing the SunSmart America™ Rules is your best option, but use a sun block with a SPF of 30+ and clothing with a UPF rating of 30 or higher. Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses and to seek shade whenever possible! Perform a monthly self exam of your skin, and an annual visit to a Dermatologist.

Type II: Fair skin, always burns, and tans minimally.
You are susceptible to skin damage as well as cancers like Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma. Practicing the SunSmart America™ Rules is your best option, but it is better if you use a sun block with a SPF of 30+ and clothing with a UPF rating of 30 or higher. Don’t forget your hat, sunglasses and to seek shade whenever possible. Perform a monthly self exam of your skin, and an annual visit to a Dermatologist.

Type III: Medium skin, burns moderately, tans gradually to light brown.
You are susceptible to skin damage as well as cancers like Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, and Melanoma. Practicing the SunSmart America™ Rules is your best option, choose a sun block with an SPF of 15 or more every day, wear a hat, sun-protective clothing, and sunglasses. Seek shade when possible. Perform a monthly self exam of your skin, and an annual visit to a Dermatologist.

Type IV: Olive skin, burns minimally, always tans to moderately brown.
You are at moderate risk for photo aging and other sun-induced skin problems. While melanoma is uncommon in African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it is most deadly for these populations because it is more likely to develop undetected. Practicing the SunSmart America™ Rules is your best option, choose a sun block with an SPF of 15 or more every day, wear a hat, sun-protective clothing, and sunglasses. Seek shade when possible. Do a monthly self exam of your skin, and an annual visit to a Dermatologist.

Type V: Dark brown skin, rarely burns, and tans profusely to dark & Type VI: Deeply pigmented dark brown to black skin that never burns:
Least sensitive to the UV light. However, everybody has some risk. Use sun block with an SPF of 15+, wear a hat, and seek shade when out for long periods of time. While melanoma is uncommon in African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians, it is most deadly for these populations because it is more likely to develop undetected. Do a monthly self exam of your skin with especial attention on palms, soles, and mucous membranes. It is recommended that you visit annually a Dermatologist.


pdfClick here for a pdf version of this page.