UV radiation, sun and sunbeds UV radiation, sun and sunbeds
UV radiation, sun and sunbeds

The tolerance of skin types varies

The tolerance of skin types varies

Skin types have different tolerances: people can be roughly divided into six skin types, depending on how well the skin can tolerate the sun. Those with skin that burns easily and tans poorly (skin types I and II) have a higher risk of developing melanoma.

Children's skin is thinner and unable to produce pigment in the same way as adult skin, and is therefore classified as the most sensitive skin type I.

The easiest way to determine your own skin type is to answer two questions:

  • Does your skin burn every summer when for the first time in the sun?
  • Do you tan after sunbathing?

Few people belong to only one specific skin type. The skin type scale is only indicative.

Skin type Burns Tans
I always never
II easily minimally
III moderately uniformly
IV minimally well
V naturally brown skin
VI naturally black skin

Type I people are often very light-skinned, red-haired and freckled, burn very quickly in the sun, and do not tan at all.

Type II people are light-skinned, blonde-haired, blue or green-eyed people who burn frequently and tan slightly.

Type III members typically have brown hair and gray or brown eyes. They withstand the sun relatively well, sometimes burn, and tan well.

Type IV subjects have light brown/olive skin, brown eyes, and dark brown or black hair. They rarely burn and tan well.

Europeans most often fall into these four skin types. One third of Finns belong to Type I or II and about half to Type III. Only one in ten is Type IV, which is prevalent in Southern Europe.

Skin types V and VI are naturally dark-skinned and -haired and do tolerated the sun well. Type V members are brown-skinned and black-haired, for example North Africans and Indians belong to skin type V. People with skin type VI have black skin and black hair, typically Africans belong to skin type VI. Skin cancer is rare among these skin types.

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