Laser and Your Skin Type

Safe Laser Treatments for Your Skin Type

The Fitzpatrick Skin Typing SystemWebsite pic Sept 2015 -1

Thinking about laser treatments?  One of the most important things to consider is what your skin type is.  Depending on the treatment wanted, your skin type will determine if you are even a candidate for laser treatments.  Darker skin type can be permanently damaged by doing treatments that are not recommended for their skin type.   Skin Types are determined by the Fitzpatrick Skin Typing System which has 6 levels of skin tones.

Type I is lightest of all skin colors. Your head hair color will be light or red; your eyes will be blue and you will have freckles. You always burn when sun exposed and you never tan. If your body hair is blonde, you are not a good candidate for laser hair removal but are great candidate for electrolysis,  photofacials, profractional, microlaser peels, laser vein treatments and resurfacing.   For prevention of sun damage, a sun screen of at least an SPF of 30 with zinc oxide above nine percent must be part of your daily skin care routine.

Type II is white skin with red or light hair. . Your eyes are blue, hazel, or green eyes and you will burn if not sun smart and you do not tan easily.   If your body hair is brown than laser hair removal is an option if done with the 755 nm Alexandrite laser.  You are a great candidate for photofacials, profractional, microlaser peels, laser vein treatments and resurfacing.  Daily sun screen of at least SPF 30 with zinc oxide above nine percent is a must.

Type III is a very common skin type and your eyes and hair can be any color. You will get a mild burn and do tan gradually. Type lll’s are excellent candidates for laser hair removal, photofacials, profractional, microlaser peels and resurfacing.   You still need sun screen with minimum SPF 30 with zinc oxide of nine percent to prevent early skin aging and skin damage.  Skin Type lll often think they don’t need sun screen due to their ability to easily tan.  A tan is still a skin burn.   Think about a roasted chicken!

Type IV is a darker more olive skin (Mediterranean and Latin American people) and usually with dark hair. You rarely burn and you always look tanned. This makes you a good candidate for laser hair removal with a Yag 1064 laser and you are still a good candidate for photofacials, profractional, microlaserpeels and resurfacing.   Sun screen of SPF 30 with zinc oxide above nine percent is still a must to protect the skin from premature aging due to sun damage.

Type V is dark brown skin (East Indian and Middle Eastern people). You tan very easily and rarely burn. You are a good candidate for laser hair removal with a Yag 1064 laser as long as your hair is darker than your skin.  You are good candidate for Profactional laser treatments for skin discolorations, acne scars and texture repair, but Photofacials, Microlaser Peels and Resurfacing are not an option.  Sun screen of a minimum of SPF 30 with Zinc oxide of at least nine percent is a must as darker skin types are prone to skin discolorations caused by sun damage.

Type VI is black skin often referred to as African skin.  You never burn and tan easily. You are still a candidate for laser hair removal on a 1064 yag laser as long as your hair is darker than your skin.   It is also extremely important that the technician is very experienced in treating darker skin types. Photofacials, microlaser peels and resurfacing are not an option.  Profractional laser treatments for acne scars and skin discolorations are still options for darker Type Vl skin types. Sun screen of an SPF 30 with a minimum of 9% zinc oxide is a still a must.

Knowing your skin type can help you make informed decisions about everything from cosmetic products and laser procedures to understanding your options, expectations and risks.

What Skin Type are you?

 Palmer Laser and Electrolysis


755nm Alexandrite and 1064 Yag

Treatments For:

Laser Hair Removal, Brown Spots, Sun Damage, Cherry Haemangioma, Rough Skin Texture, Uneven Skin tones,  Rosacea, Acne Scars, Fine Lines, Facial Veins, Spider Leg Veins.

Contact us

(905) 773-0350

35 Blyth Street.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
L4E 2Y2