The Fitzpatrick Scale and Laser Hair Removal
If you’re like most women, you probably think of your skin tone as “light” or “dark.” But did you know that there are actually six different skin tones? That’s right—and each one requires a different skincare routine.
If you’re considering laser hair removal, chances are you’ve come across the Fitzpatrick scale. But what exactly is the Fitzpatrick scale? And how does it impact laser hair removal?
The Fitzpatrick scale is a way of classifying skin tone based on how likely it is to burn in the sun. The scale goes from Type I (very light skin that always burns) to Type VI (very dark skin that never burns). While the Fitzpatrick scale is traditionally used to determine the best skincare regimen for someone, it’s also helpful in understanding how laser hair removal works.
What is the Fitzpatrick Scale?
The Fitzpatrick scale is a 6-point numeric scale that classifies individuals on the basis of their skin tone. This scale was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, a Harvard dermatologist, as a way to objectively quantify an individual’s response to ultraviolet light.
The six categories of the Fitzpatrick scale are as follows:
– Type I: Very pale white skin that always burns and never tans
– Type II: Pale white skin that burns easily and tans minimally
– Type III: Creamy white skin that sometimes burns and gradually tans
– Type IV: Moderate brown skin that rarely burns and tans moderately
– Type V: Dark brown skin that rarely burns and always tans profusely
– Type VI: Very dark brown or black skin that never burns and always tans profusely
How does this relate to laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal works by targeting the melanin (pigment) in your hair follicles with pulses of laser light. Melanin absorbs light very well, which is why people with darker skin tones have a higher risk of burns and scars when undergoing laser treatment. That being said, there are now several types of lasers available that are specifically designed for use on patients with dark complexions. At Radiance Medspa, we offer painless laser hair removal services that are safe for all Fitzpatrick skin types. So if you’re tired of wasting time on temporary hair removal methods, give us a call today!