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The Fitzpatrick Classification Scale (aka Fitzpatrick skin typing test or Fitzpatrick phototyping scale) was developed in 1975 by Harvard Medical School dermatologist, Thomas Fitzpatrick, MD, PhD. The Fitzpatrick Scale is a numerical classification schema for skin typing. This scale classifies a person's complexion and their tolerance to sunlight and UV radiation. The Fitzpatrick skin type does not change.  Fitzpatrick type is something people are born with and will die with. Only the degree of tan can change.
It remains a recognized tool for dermatologic research into the color of skin and is also used to aid practitioners in the care of their patients.


The Fitzpatrick Scale:

Skin Type

Skin Color


I (Scores 0-7)

White; very fair; red or blond hair; blue eyes; freckles

Always burns, never tans

II (Scores 8-16)

White; fair; red or blond hair; blue, hazel, or green eyes ; Fairly skinned Caucasians

Usually burns, tans with difficulty

III (Scores 17-25)

Cream white; fair with any eye or hair color; very common ; Darker Caucasians

Sometimes mild burn, gradually tans

IV (Scores 25-30)

Brown; typical Mediterranean caucasian skin

Rarely burns, tans with ease

V (Scores over 30

Dark Brown; mid-eastern skin types; Hispanics; Blacks

very rarely burns, tans very easily

VI Scores over 30)


Never burns, tans very easily





Evolution of Skin Colour
Racial Differences in Skin Properties
Fitzpatrick Scale
Fitzpatrick Skin Type Calculator

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