Scars and Skin Tones: How Scars Affect Different Skin Types

As the largest human organ, skin is your body’s first line of defense. Although everyone’s skin performs the same function, it can take on a variety of appearances due to different amounts of pigmentation. Skin, then, can be grouped into a number of different types, six of which are represented on the Fitzpatrick Scale.

Skin type can affect several things, such as visible signs of ageing like proneness to wrinkles, likelihood of developing acne, resistance to UV radiation penetration, and the rate at which scars heal. On the Fitzpatrick Scale, skin types are grouped by your genetic predisposition to melanin, which is the chemical that provides pigmentation in skin. Dermatologists look to this scale to determine risk factors for anything from sunburn and skin cancer to scarring risks and hyperpigmentation.

Six Types

  • Type 1: This is the fairest, usually freckled with a naturally-reddish undertone. If you have Type 1 skin, you have blonde or red hair with porcelain or very pale skin, and are very likely to burn after being exposed to the sun. However, you have a low potential for scarring.
  • Type 2: This is skin that is fair or cream colored. If you are in this type, you have light hair and blue or brown eyes and probably burn better than you tan. The risk of scarring is low for you.
  • Type 3: This is skin that is slightly darker than Type 2 but still quite fair, backed by golden skin tones. You have brown or green eyes and tan easily, but you will burn after long exposure to the sun. You have a higher scarring potential than Types 1 and 2.
  • Type 4: This is skin that is olive or caramel toned, with hazel or brown eyes and dark hair. You tan very easily but could still burn with long sun exposure. Scars heal easily with this skin type.
  • Type 5: Characterized by skin that is olive to rich brown, you have brown eyes, dark hair and tan very easily. While you rarely burn, you have a high risk of scarring.
  • Type 6: Your skin ranges from deep mahogany to very dark brown. You have dark brown eyes and black hair, and you tan quickly and easily. However, you have a very high risk of abnormal scarring.

So, which type are YOU? If you are one of the higher types, you likely scar easily, so take the proper steps to heal correctly after an injury.

One of the most ideal ways to treat problem scarring, including keloid and hypertrophic scars, is to apply silicone. The most convenient way to apply this is with a tube of Scarfade, which slides on easily and doesn’t dry greasy. Check out our products here!