What do we mean by 'Fitzpatrick'?

You may have noticed we mention 'Fitzpatrick' a lot - but what actually is it?! Developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, as a way to classify the typical response of different types of skin to ultraviolet light, the Fitzpatrick scale remains a recognized tool for dermatological research into human skin pigmentation.

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

Fitz 1

Very pale skin with blonde or red hair. Prone to freckles. Always burns and almost never tans.

Fitz 4

Brown eyes and dark hair. Burns with very lengthy exposures but always tans easily.

Fitz 2

Pale to fair skin, usually blonde or light brown hair (sometimes dark). Blue or brown eyes. Often burns but can tan.  

Fitz 5

Naturally brown skin, brown eyes, and dark hair. Burns only with excessive sun exposure. Skin easily darkens futher.

Fitz 3

Light olive skin with dark hair and brown or green eyes. Can burn but generally tans quite easily.

Fitz 6

Black skin with dark brown eyes and black hair. Almost never burns. Skin very easily darkens futher.

How does it effect my treatment?

The Fitzpatrick scale classifies exactly how much pigment our skin has, and therefore how much sun exposure we can handle without our skin reacting - thus, its ability to handle light and sun, without burning, hyper, or hypo - pigmenting. This is hugely important as both Laser, and IPL, are a controlled source of light which penetrates your skin and focuses on different aspects and colours within your skin (hair follicle, pigmentation, vessels etc). Knowing your Fitzpatrick helps us not only determine which procedures are suitable for you, but which machine will give you the safest and most effective results. 

As with all aspects of our work, our number one aim is to keep your skin healthy! If you aren't sure of your Fitzpatrick number, or suitability for any of our treatments, please get in touch!