The Fitzpatrick Spectrum, Skin Health and Skincare

What is the spectrum?
The Fitzpatrick skin spectrum was developed in 1975 and has become one of the ways that dermatologists categorize different skin types, in order to help tailor treatments and skincare packages to best suit your skin type. The spectrum breaks up skin tones into 6 skin types based on the way your skin reacts to ultraviolet light (UV) and where you fall on the spectrum is determined by the amount of melanin pigment in your skin. The Fitzpatrick spectrum assesses this by scoring your skins characteristics according to your genetics, sensitivity and intentional exposure to the sun and is best assessed by a dermatologist in order to get an accurate result. Not only can this spectrum be helpful to aesthetic clinicians, like Trikwan’s Dr Diwan and Dr Trikha, in advising you about your best skincare options, it is also useful in informing you about the best way to protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

The Fitzpatrick Skin Types:

Type I:

This skin type will score between 0-6 on the spectrum and is generally characterised by:

  • Ivory/Pink skin tone
  • Red or light blonde hair
  • Light blue, green or grey eye colour
  • Skin that is extremely sensitive, freckles, always burns and never tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 1

Type II:

Type two will score between 7-13 and is generally characterised by:

  • Fair/pale skin tone
  • Blonde/fair hair
  • Blue, Green or Grey Eye Colour
  • Skin that is very sensitive, usually freckles, burns easily and tans rarely

Fitzpatrick skin type 2

Type III:

Scores between 14-20 and is generally characterised by:

  • Fair to beige skin tone with golden undertones
  • Dark blonde or brown hair
  • Hazel or Light Brown Eye Colour
  • Skin that is sensitive, may freckle, burns occasionally and tans sometimes

Fitzpatrick skin type 3

Type IV:

Scores between 21-27 are generally characterised by:

  • Olive or light brown skin tone
  • Dark Brown Hair
  • Dark Brown Eyes
  • Skin that is mildly sensitive, doesn’t really freckle, rarely burns and almost always tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 4

Type V:

Scores between 28-34 are generally characterised by:

  • Brown Skin tone
  • Dark Brown/Black Hair
  • Dark Brown/Brownish-Black Eye colour
  • Skin that is resistant, rarely freckles, rarely burns and always tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 5

Type VI:

Scores over 35 are generally characterised by:

  • Dark Brown skin tone
  • Black hair
  • Brownish-Black eye colour
  • Skin that is very resistant, never freckles, never burns and always tans

Fitzpatrick skin type 6

What your Fitzpatrick Skin Type means for your skin’s health:
No matter what skin type you fall in, it is always important to protect your skin from the effects of the sun by wearing an effective sunscreen with protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Read all about the essential benefits of sun protection here(LINK TO SUN PROTECTION BLOG). However, your Fitzpatrick skin type can be a predictor of the risk to your skin from the sun and we can use this risk level to appropriately protect ourselves from the rays.

If you fall into skin type I, II or III you are at a heightened risk of suffering from sun damage, skin aging and various skin cancers, therefore it is important to be vigilant in protecting your skin. If your skin is type IV, V or VI you are still at risk of sun damage and should ensure that you are just as vigilant in protecting your skin from UV rays, however the risk is slightly reduced due to the presence of a higher concentration of protective melanin within your skin.

Here are a few ways that you can protect against this damage, all year round:

  • Always wear a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 and 4-star UVA rating
  • Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before heading outside and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating
  • Limit your sun exposure and seek shade when outside
  • Wear hats and other accessories that can protect your face and head
  • Check your skin head to toe for changes every month (make sure to thoroughly inspect all areas! Some forms of skin cancer can appear in areas of the body not often exposed to the sun, therefore are not diagnosed until they have spread)
  • See a doctor for a skin check-up once a year

Obagi Skincare and #SKINCLUSION

At Trikwan Aesthetics we prescribe evidence-based, highest-quality skincare products that produce tangible results for all of our clients. Being an Ambassador clinic for Obagi, we are proud to be associated with a company that values the importance of diversity and inclusivity, both in and out of clinic. Obagi, and their #SKINCLUSION campaign ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas, have made a commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their mission, and encouraging discussions about the global dialogue surrounding diversity through their products and media. All of the Obagi skincare products that our doctors, Dr Sanjay Trikha and Dr Zoya Diwan, prescribe in-clinic are formulated using strong scientific evidence and the principles underpinning the Fitzpatrick spectrum of skin types, to ensure that their products work for everyone. Our doctors are highly trained to prescribe the most effective products to treat your unique skin problems and help you gain a transformative result.



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