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Sunburn: Skin Types

Topic Overview

Your skin type affects how easily you sunburn. Sun protection measures should be used to prevent sunburn.

Skin types and sunburn
Skin typeSkin color when not exposed to sunHow skin reacts to sun

I

White or freckled skin

You sunburn very easily and are not likely to tan.

II

White

You usually sunburn easily and tan a little.

III

White to olive

You sunburn sometimes and tan slowly.

IV

Light brown

You sunburn a little and usually tan well.

V

Brown

You rarely sunburn, and you tan well.

VI

Dark brown to black

You almost never sunburn, and you tan deeply.

Credits

Current as of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine