Skin type classification systems old and new

Dermatol Clin. 2009 Oct;27(4):529-33, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2009.08.006.


The history of classifying skin types is rather new and there has been considerable progress made with continuing awareness. The Fitzpatrick Skin Phototype Classification remains the gold standard. It is simple and user friendly, however this system fails to accurately predict skin reactions. The Roberts Skin Type Classification System is a tool to predict the skin response to injury and insult from cosmetic procedures and identify the propensity of sequelae from inflammatory skin disorders. It can be a predictor of an impending complication, such as hyperpigmentation and scarring, which can then be avoided. In addition, it includes the skin phototype and photoage. In evaluating patients' skin and developing a cosmetic plan, the four indices outlined in this article, hyper/hypopigmentation risk, scarring risk, skin phototype, and photoage, are crucial to identify for optimal outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Classification / methods*
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Humans
  • Skin / anatomy & histology*
  • Skin Aging*