Treatment Options for Your Fitzpatrick Skin Type


At Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting, our mantra is personalized care. We do not ascribe to a one-size-fits-all-approach to dermatology. Rather, we provide each patient with individualized care tailored to their unique needs and goals. Considering a patient’s Fitzpatrick skin type routinely informs our care delivery strategies. There are certain treatments and products that are better suited for particular Fitzpatrick skin types over others. To understand the best types of skin treatment options for you, you should first identify your Fitzpatrick skin type. 

Identifying Your Fitzpatrick Skin Type

There are six Fitzpatrick skin types:

  • Skin Type I: Pale white skin, blue or green eyes, blond or red hair; always burns, never tans.
  • Skin Type II: Fair skin, blue eyes; burns easily, tans poorly.
  • Skin Type III: Darker white skin; tans after initial burn.
  • Skin Type IV: Light brown skin; burns minimally, tans easily.
  • Skin Type V: Brown skin; rarely burns, tans darkly easily.
  • Skin Type VI: Dark brown or black skin; never burns, always tans darkly.

While you may have thought the three skin types were oily, sensitive or dry, those categories are not actual skin types. The Fitzpatrick scale was developed by a dermatologist for dermatology professionals to use in skin assessments. 

Choosing Treatments Ideal for Your Fitzpatrick Skin Type

It is important to consider your Fitzpatrick skin type when choosing laser treatments because certain lasers can actually have a negative effect when applied to darker skin. This undesirable outcome usually comes in the form of hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. People with extremely light skin may also experience prolonged redness or skin irritation after certain treatments. However, recent advancements in skin refining technology have made it possible for people of any skin type to enjoy the skin resurfacing benefits of lasers and other collagen-boosting treatments. 

Treatments for Any Fitzpatrick Skin Type

There are several treatments offered by Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting that are well-suited for people of any Fitzpatrick skin type, such as:

Additionally, HALO™ Pro and CoolPeel™ treatments can be used on any skin type when certain modifications in density and energy settings are made. 

Treatments for Certain Fitzpatrick Types

Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting is home to a vast inventory of leading-edge skin resurfacing lasers. Your board-certified dermatologist will match your unique Fitzpatrick skin type to the best laser suited for your skin and goals. Depending on your skin type and how you typically respond to sunlight, you may be ideally suited for laser treatments such as:

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Carefully Curated Skincare Products for Your Fitzpatrick Skin Type

As our patient, your cosmetic team will work with you to assemble an at-home skin care regimen designed to address your unique skin concerns and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Your Fitzpatrick skin type plays an important role in determining the best skin care products for your individual needs. For example, people who are Fitzpatrick skin types I through III need to use a high-powered sunblock and may benefit from skincare ingredients that are calming and reduce redness. Fitzpatrick skin types III through VI may be more interested in products containing antioxidants or vitamins to help reduce any skin discoloration or irregularities.

Our office carries highly regarded collections of skin care products that can be matched to any skin type. Many of these products, such as ALASTIN Regenerating Skin Nectar, can help support the treatments you are receiving in our office by enhancing results and reducing downtime. It is also crucial to be regularly using a high-quality sunblock or sunscreen if you are receiving skin resurfacing treatments, as many treatments can make the skin temporarily more susceptible to sunburn. 

Schedule an appointment today for a skin assessment where we can recommend specific treatments and products that are best suited for your Fitzpatrick skin type.