Skin Type Classification: A Decennial Perspective

Source: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology April 2018

Wendy E. Roberts MD FAAD 

The intent of this brief communication is to revisit the Roberts Skin Type Classification System published by Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (JDD) in 2008 with a 2018 lens and provide additional information for its wider acceptance and implementation. The key points of this communication are that the 2010 US census indicates rapid growth of the multiple race population up 30-50% from the 2000 census, cosmetic procedures have increased from 9.5 million to 12.8 million over the same 10 year period, and cosmetic procedures in SOC patients have increased 6% over the same 10 year period. We have come very far in our knowledge of skin safety and colorblind technology, however, as we experience rapid globalization and increasing diversity of traditionally diverse populations, this classification system is even more relevant now than it was 10 years ago. What standard are we using to predict our diverse patient outcomes to skin insult, injury, and inflammation? Why do we still use the limited Fitzpatrick Phototype System to communicate safety when the system does not address dyspigmentation and scarring, the most frequent complications in ill-fated skin trauma?

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