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Skin Types

Developed in 1975 by Harvard Medical School dermatologist Thomas Fitzpatrick, the Fitzpatrick Classification Scale is a system that classifies ones skin type as either skin type I to VI, and thus providing an estimation of the tanning/sun burning tendency of an individual’s skin. This scale has been adopted by various health organisations, such as the World Health Organisation, and since its initial development has been extended to include a scale of the amount of melanin in the skin (Figure 1), with the amount of melanin in one’s skin a useful indicator in determining how likely you are to become sunburnt.

Figure 1: Fitzpatrick classification system