Where Does Your Skin Fit In? Quiz

The Fitzpatrick Skin Type is a skin classification system first developed in 1975 by Thomas Fitzpatrick, MD, of Harvard Medical School. His skin classification system and its adaptations are familiar to dermatologists.  In order to determine your Fitzpatrick Skin Type, our quiz measures two components (genetic disposition and reaction to sun exposure). Types range from the very fair (Type I) to the very dark (Type VI). 

So, grab a piece of paper, sharpen your pencil and take the quiz below to discover what your type is, then read our analyses for some type-tailored sun safety advice.

Part I: Genetic Disposition

Your eye color is:

Light blue, light gray or light green = 0

Blue, gray or green = 1

Hazel or light brown = 2 

Dark brown = 3

Brownish black = 4

Your natural hair color is:

Red or light blonde = 0

Blonde = 1

Dark blonde or light brown = 2

Dark brown = 3

Black = 4

Your natural skin color (before sun exposure) is:

Ivory white = 0

Fair or pale = 1

Fair to beige, with golden undertone = 2

Olive or light brown = 3

Dark brown or black = 4

How many freckles do you have on unexposed areas of your skin?

Many = 0

Several = 1

A few = 2

Very few = 3

None = 4

Total score for genetic disposition: _______


Part II: Reaction to Extended Sun Exposure

How does your skin respond to the sun?

Always burns, blisters and peels = 0

Often burns, blisters and peels = 1

Burns moderately = 2

Burns rarely, if at all = 3

Never burns = 4


Does your skin tan?

Never -- I always burn = 0

Seldom = 1

Sometimes = 2

Often = 3

Always = 4

How deeply do you tan?

Not at all or very little = 0

Lightly = 1

Moderately = 2

Deeply = 3

My skin is naturally dark = 4

How sensitive is your face to the sun?

Very sensitive = 0

Sensitive = 1

Normal = 2

Resistant = 3

Very resistant/Never had a problem = 4

Total score for reaction to sun exposure: _______

Add up your genetic disposition and sun exposure totals to find your Fitzpatrick Skin Type: ___________________

  •           
    Type I (0-6 Points):

    You always burn and never tan in the sun. You are extremely susceptible to skin damage as well as cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. You are also at very high risk for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Generally follow The Skin Cancer Foundation's prevention tips but use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30+ and clothing with a UPF rating of 30 or higher. Seek the shade whenever you are out in the sun. Check your skin head-to-toe each month, paying careful attention to any suspicious growths, and make sure you have an annual professional skin checkup.

  •           
    Type II (7-12 Points):

    You almost always burn and rarely tan in the sun. You are highly susceptible to skin damage as well as cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. You are also at high risk for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Generally follow The Skin Cancer Foundation's prevention tips but also consider using a sunscreen with a SPF of 30+ and clothing with a UPF rating of 30 or higher. Seek the shade whenever you are out in the sun. Check your skin head-to-toe each month, paying careful attention to any suspicious growths, and make sure you have an annual professional skin checkup.

  •            
    Type III (13-18 Points):

    You sometimes burn and sometimes tan in the sun. You are susceptible to skin damage as well as cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. You are also at risk for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Be sure to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 every day, wear sun-protective clothing, and seek the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM, when the sun is strongest. Check your skin head-to-toe each month, paying careful attention to any suspicious growths, and make sure you have an annual professional skin checkup.

  •           
    Type IV (19-24 Points):

    You tend to tan easily and are less likely to burn. But you are still at risk; use sunscreen with an SPF of 15+ outside and seek the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM. Follow all other Prevention Tips from The Skin Cancer Foundation as well. Check your skin head-to-toe each month, paying careful attention to any suspicious growths, and make sure you have an annual professional skin checkup.

  •             
    Type V (25-30 Points):

    You tan easily and rarely burn, but you are still at risk. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15+ and seek the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM. Acral lentiginous melanoma, a very virulent form of the disease, is more common among darker-skinned people. These melanomas tend to appear on parts of the body not often exposed to the sun, and often remain undetected until after the cancer has spread. Check your skin head-to-toe each month, paying careful attention to any suspicious growths, and make sure you have an annual professional skin checkup. Keep an eye out for any suspicious growths, especially on the palms, soles of the feet and mucous membranes.

  •            
    Type VI (31+ Points):

    Although you do not burn, dark-skinned people are still at risk for skin cancers, and should wear sunscreen with a SPF of 15+ and seek the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM. Acral lentiginous melanoma, a very virulent form of the disease, is more common among darker-skinned people. These melanomas tend to appear on parts of the body not often exposed to the sun, and often remain undetected until after the cancer has spread. Check your skin head-to-toe each month, paying careful attention to any suspicious growths, and make sure you have an annual professional skin checkup. Keep an eye out for any suspicious growths, especially on the palms, soles of the feet and mucous membranes.

This skin type quiz is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.