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October 1999

Correlating Skin Type and Minimum Erythema Dose

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Arch Dermatol. 1999;135(10):1278-1279. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-135-10-dlt1099

In 1975, Fitzpatrick1 introduced skin typing as a way of classifying individuals according to their burning and tanning responses to sun exposure. This system has proven useful in a variety of ways, such as for estimating starting doses in phototherapy and for discussion of skin acclimatization.1,2 Its reliability, however, has been questioned; several investigators have failed to demonstrate a strong correlation between a patient's self-described skin type and actual sensitivity to UV radiation as defined by the minimum erythema dose (MED).3-5

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