Skin Types

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.

Because of different skin types, long exposure to strong sunlight can have different effects:

  • Fitzpatrick Skin type 1:  Fair &Blonde 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. Attempting to get a suntan will cause damage to the skin and there is a greater risk for developing skin cancer. Avoiding sunbathing and covering bare skin when exposed to the sun is advised.  (SPFactor  50)
  • Skin type 2: Also Fair 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. Attempting to get  a suntan has the same risk factor as skin type1. Use  of a high sun protection factor sunscreen (SPF  30-50) is strongly advised.
  • Skin type 3: Fair with possibly dark hair, you sometimes burn and sometimes tan in the sun. You are equally susceptible to skin damage as well as cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. make sure you are  applying a high sun protection factor sunscreen. There is still a risk of developing skin cancer.
  • Skin type 4: Olive skinned, you tend to tan easily and are less likely to burn. But you are still at risk; use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 outside and avoid the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM. Less chance for developing skin cancer than for people with other skin types but damage to the skin and the sun causing wrinkles is still possible.
  • Skin Type 5: Light brown skin, you tan easily and rarely burn, but you are still at risk. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and avoid the sun between 10 AM and 4 PM. Acral lentiginous melanoma, a very virulent form of melanoma, is more common among darker-skinned people with dark spots on the hands or feet.
  • Skin Type 6: Dark skinned, 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, 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 too late

Health Risks

Heatstroke

One of the main dangers of being on the sun for long is heatstroke. Heatstroke is the result of long exposure to high temperatures - usually in combination with dehydration. Symptoms of heatstroke are:

  • nausea
  • rapid heartbeat
  • muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • cessation of heavy sweating
  • loss of consciousness (or coma - in most serious cases)

In case of any symptoms above call 999 immediately.

Sunburn

Long exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can make your skin red and painful, which can result in peeling and blistering. Ways to treat sunburn are:

  • Taking a cool shower
  • Applying moisturising lotion
  • Drinking water (but avoiding drinks containing caffeine and alcohol)
  • Applying cooling measures (fans and cold towels)
  • Taking a painkiller (seek for medical advice before taking any medications)

Should the above does not help seek medical advice immediately.

Precautions

With certain precautions damages to skin caused by sunlight can be reduced.  Some of them are:

  • Using high sun protection factor sunscreen – Factor 50
  • Covering bare skin when exposed to the sun
  • Drinking plenty of water (but avoiding drinks containing caffeine and alcohol)

Children in the Sun

As recent news – toddlers’ admissions to hospitals with sunburns– highlights the dangers of sunbathing to children. Take extra precautions when  out in the sun with children especially with babies and toddlers.

Benefits of Sunbathing

Even though there are risks, sunbathing has also many benefits to our health such as:

  • Antidepressant
  • Better circulation
  • Getting Vitamin D

The aim of this article is not to put people off from sunbathing but to raise awareness of certain risks and help prepare for an enjoyable time.

Surgery Videos
Breast implants surgery

Breast Implants
Breast reduction surgery

Breast Reduction
Breast uplift surgery

Breast Uplift

    watch more videos

 

Asit Khandwala - Cosmetic Surgeon

Find answers to the most common questions about cosmetic surgery on the Q&A page.

Alternatively, fill in the form send and enquiry to Mr Khandwala.

Asit Khandwala - Cosmetic Surgeon

Mr Khandwala is available in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and the London area. Send a request for a consultation in person.

www.plasticsurgeon.org.uk     email: info@plasticsurgeon.org.uk    tel: 01342 776 463    fax: 01342 770 575