Fitzpatrick Scale and Laser Hair Removal

If you are looking into laser hair removal, then you may have come across mention of the ‘Fitzpatrick Scale’.

The Fitzpatrick scale is a way of classifying human skin colour on a scale from light to dark. It was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick as a way of estimating how the different types of skin would respond to ultraviolet light and how likely they are to burn.

The 6 types are:

  • Type I: Highly sun-sensitive, always burns, never tans
  • Type II: Very sun-sensitive, burns easily, tans minimally
  • Type III: Sun-sensitive skin, sometimes burns, slowly tans to light brown.
  • Type IV: Minimally sun-sensitive, rarely burns, always tans to moderate brown
  • Type V: Brown skin, rarely burns, tans darkly easily
  • Type VI: Dark brown or black skin, never burns, always tans darkly

Fitzpatrick Scale

Influence of pigmentation on skin cancer risk

Skin Types and Laser Hair Removal

Your skin type may be relevant if you are considering laser hair removal and especially IPL treatment.

Traditionally, the best candidates for light-based hair removal treatments are those with type 3 skin and coarse, dark hair, where the contrast is greatest.

Some companies with older/cheaper technology may only offer treatment for this type while others might still offer treatment, but with inferior results. There is a big difference between the capabilities of the machines available on the market and the more advanced laser machines CAN now be used – effectively – for a greater range of skin and hair combinations.

Latest Laser Technology

The latest lasers can be configured very precisely to suit the patient’s coloration and this can be adjusted through a course of treatment to take account of any seasonal changes in skin colour or hair (i.e. tan, bleaching).

Quinn Clinics based in Bristol offers a choice of two gold-standard treatment options for patients seeking long-lasting hair removal results.

  1. Lumenis Lightsheer DESIRE
  2. Syneron-Candela with MOTIF

This provides patients with the most appropriate option to suit the size, location and colour characteristics of the area being treated.

Staff are fully trained and will give informed and honest advice as to what sort of results you might expect.

As Quinn Clinics is a doctor owned and led business, clinical standards are very high.


For an initial assessment, Quinn Clinics offer a refundable consultation deposit of £25, taken off the cost of treatment should you go ahead.

  • Address: 4 Redland Court Road, Bristol, BS6 7EE
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 117 924 4592


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About Quinn Clinics

Established in 2006 by Dr John Quinn, Quinn Clinics is Bristol’s only independent Doctor-led skin clinic registered with the CQC.

Skin treatments include the full range of anti-ageing, cosmetic and medical skin procedures, to tackle everything from sun damage and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation, thread veins or excessive sweating.

Contact Us

Bristol Clinic & Head Office

Address: 4 Redland Court Road, Bristol, BS6 7EE

Telephone: +44 (0) 117 924 4592


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