Sunburn: Skin Types

Topic Overview

Your skin type affects how easily you sunburn. But sun protection measures should be used for babies, small children, and older adults regardless of their skin type, because their skin is very sensitive to sunburn.

Skin types and sunburn
Type I

Red hair, freckles (extremely sensitive)

Sunburn easily, not likely to tan

Type II

Fair skin, blue eyes (very sensitive)

Usually sunburn easily, tan a little

Type III

Most whites (sensitive)

Sunburn sometimes, tan slowly

Type IV

Mediterranean, Hispanic, Asian (moderately sensitive)

Sunburn a little, usually tan well

Type V

Middle Eastern, Latino, Indian, light-skinned blacks (minimally sensitive)

Rarely sunburn, tan deeply

Type VI

Dark-skinned blacks (not sensitive)

Almost never sunburn

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised August 28, 2013

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