Skin phototype

The purpose of skin phototypes is to determine the following:

  • the skin color
  • how the skin reacts in the sun (e.g. prone to sunburn, appearance of freckles)
  • the hair color

There are 7 phototypes: the higher the phototype, the more resistant to the sun and darker the skin is.

The physician will choose the laser hair removal machine with the suitable wavelength and fluence (energy) according to the patientโ€™s phototype. In general, the Alexandrite machine is used for fair skin, with quite a high energy level, and the Nd Yag machine, with a low energy level, to prevent burning on dark skin, which has a particularly high concentration of melanin.

The Fitzpatrick phototype classification is shown below:

PhototypeSkin colorSun sensitivityTanning abilityMelanin contentHair colorRecommended permanent hair removal method
PhototypeSkin colorSun sensitivityTanning abilityMelanin contentHair colorRecommended permanent hair removal method
IVery white skinHighNo abilityNo melaninblackLaser hair removal (Alexandrite laser)
brownLaser hair removal (Alexandrite laser)
redElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
blondElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
gray/whiteElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
IIWhite skinHighLowVery low melaninblackLaser hair removal (Alexandrite laser)
brownLaser hair removal (Alexandrite laser)
redElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
blondElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
gray/whiteElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
IIIMedium skin (brown hair and light colored eyes)ModerateGoodLow melaninblackLaser hair removal (Alexandrite laser)
brownLaser hair removal (Alexandrite laser)
redElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
blondElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
gray/whiteElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
IVEuropean medium skin (dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin)Very lowVery goodModerate melaninblackLaser hair removal (Alexandrite or Nd:Yag laser)
brownLaser hair removal (Alexandrite or Nd:Yag laser)
redElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
blondElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
gray/whiteElectrical hair removal (electrolysis)
VBrown skin (brown Asian, Mediterranean, mixed-race skin)Very lowExcellentQuite high melaninblack / brownLaser hair removal (Alexandrite or Nd:Yag laser)
VIBlack skinNot sensitiveExcellentHigh amount of melaninblack / brownLaser hair removal (Nd:Yag laser)

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