Fitzpatrick scale

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The Fitzpatrick Scale (also Fitzpatrick skin typing test or Fitzpatrick phototyping scale) is a numerical classification schema for human skin color. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, as a way to classify the response of different types of skin to ultraviolet (UV) light.[1] Later, it was updated to also contain non-white skin types.[2][3] It remains a recognized tool for dermatologic research into the color of skin.


The Fitzpatrick Scale:[4][5]

  • Type I (scores 0–6) Pale white; blond, red, light brown or medium brown hair; blue , green or hazel eyes; freckles; norwegian skin type — Always burns, never tans
  • Type II (scores 7–13) White; fair; dark blond, brown or black hair; blue, green, hazel or brown eyes; scandinavian skin color — Usually burns, tans minimally
  • Type III (scores 14–20) Cream white; dark brown or black hair; blue, green or dark brown eyes; quite common; german skin color — Sometimes mild burn, tans uniformly
  • Type IV (scores 21–27) Moderate brown; typical italian or french skin tone — Rarely burns, always tans well
  • Type V (scores 28–34) Dark brown; Middle Eastern skin types — Very rarely burns, tans very easily
  • Type VI (scores 35+) Deeply pigmented dark brown to black; African — Never burns, tans very easily


  1. ^ Fitzpatrick, T. B. (1975). "Soleil et peau" [Sun and skin]. Journal de Médecine Esthétique (in French) (2): 33–34
  2. ^ Pathak, M. A.; Jimbow, K.; Szabo, G.; Fitzpatrick, T. B. (1976). "Sunlight and melanin pigmentation". In Smith, K. C. (ed.): Photochemical and photobiological reviews, Plenum Press, New York, 1976: 211-239
  3. ^ Fitzpatrick, T. B. (1986). "Ultraviolet-induced pigmentary changes: Benefits and hazards", Therapeutic Photomedicine, Karger, vol. 15 of "Current Problems in Dermatology", 1986: 25-38
  4. ^ "The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification Scale". Skin Inc. (November 2007). Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Fitzpatrick Skin Type". Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 

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