Is it just us, or does Fitz-patrick sound like St. Patrick? We think it does! And so in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this month let’s take a test to find out your unique Fitzpatrick skin type. It’s fun to find out where you fall on the scale. Plus, it’ll give you some important info that could save your skin.

What is the Fitzpatrick Scale 
The Fitzpatrick scale is a tool for dermatologists to assess your risk of skin cancer. It rates two things: the amount of pigment in your skin and how your skin reacts to the sun. It can indicate how likely you are to develop skin cancer.

Classify Your Skin 
The Fitzpatrick Skin Scale is a scientific way of classifying skin types. It breaks them down into six categories starting light and moving up to the darkest tones of skin. Just knowing your skin type can give you the information you need to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer.

What’s Your Fitzpatrick Skin Type? 
Ready to take the test to find out your skin type? Just choose the number that best describes you. Then add up your numbers and check your score at the end of the quiz.

What color are your eyes? 
0 - Light blue, gray or green  
1 - Blue, gray, or green 
2 – Blue 
3 - Dark Brown 
4 - Brownish Black

What is the natural color of your hair? 
0 - Sandy red 
1 – Blonde 
2 - Chestnut/ Dark Blonde 
3 - Dark brown 
4 - Black

What color is your skin in places where it is not exposed to the sun? 
0 - Reddish 
1 - Very Pale 
2 - Pale with a beige tint 
3 - Light brown 
4 - Dark brown

Do you have freckles on unexposed areas? 
0 - Many 
1 - Several 
2 - Few 
3 - Incidental 
4 - None

What happens when you stay too long in the sun? 
0 - Painful redness, blistering, peeling 
1 - Blistering followed by peeling 
2 - Burns sometimes followed by peeling 
3 - Rare burns 
4 - Never had burns

To what degree do you turn brown? 
0 - Hardly or not at all 
1 - Light color tan 
2 - Reasonable tan 
3 - Tan very easily 
4 - Turn dark brown quickly

Do you turn brown after several hours of sun exposure? 
0 - Never 
1 - Seldom 
2 - Sometimes 
3 - Often 
4 - Always

How does your face react to the sun? 
0 - Very sensitive 
1 - Sensitive 
2 - Normal 
3 - Very resistant 
4 - Never had a problem

When did you last expose your body to the sun? 
1 - More than 3 months ago 
2 - 2-3 months ago 
3 - 12 months ago 
4 - Less than a month ago 
5 - Less than 2 weeks ago

Do you expose your face, or the area to be treated, to the sun? 
1 - Never 
2 - Hardly ever 
3 - Sometimes 
4 - Often 
5 - Always

Quiz Score For Fitzpatrick Scale 
0-7 = Type I 
8-16 + Type II 
17-25 = Type III 
25-30 = Type IV 
Over 30 = Type V-VI

Fitzpatrick Skin Type Characteristics 
  • Type I - Your skin color is white, your hair is blonde, and your eyes are green. You Always burn in the sun and have freckles. 
  • Type II – Your skin is white, your hair is blonde, and your eyes are green or blue. You Always burn, have freckles, and it is difficult for you to tan. 
  • Type III – Your skin is white, your hair is blonde or brown. Your eyes are blue or brown. You tan after you burn. You may freckle.  
  • Type IV – Your skin, hair, and eyes are brown. You tan more than average and rarely burn. Freckles are rare.  
  • Type V – Your skin is dark brown, your hair is brown or black, and your eyes are brown. You can burn very rarely and tan readily. You don’t have freckles. 
  • Type VI – Your skin and hair are black. Your eyes are brown or black. You tan and never burn. You are deeply pigmented and don’t have freckles

Does Everyone Need Sunscreen?
Yes, you need sun protection regardless of your Fitzpatrick skin type. Wear sunscreen with a high SPF if your skin is on the light side. You can get away with sunscreen with a lower SPF if your skin is on the darker side.

Book an Annual Exam
If your skin is on the light side (especially if you have red hair or freckles) you should see a dermatologist at one of our clinics for an annual skin check starting at about age 30. If your skin is tan to dark, see a dermatologist for a yearly exam starting at about age 40.

Ready to join the dozens of patients who know their skin type and use it to take care of their skin? Or, are you still not quite sure which category your skin fits int? Book your appointment with us and our dermatologists will help you figure out the answer.  

Rachelle Riley