A number of mechanisms have been developed during evolution to protect human skin from excessive UV radiation. To classify the susceptibility of human subjects to develop erythema following UV exposure, Fitzpatrick's system differentiates six sun reactive skin phototypes (SPT)  (Table 3.10.1). In this system, the capacity to tan is equally important to help to categorise individuals of any colour or ethnic background. Using this method, the physician can estimate the relative risk of developing acute and chronic changes related to UV exposure. A study by Carrettero-Mangolis and Lim confirms that there is a correlation between minimal erythema dose (MED) and SPT, that is, the higher the SPT, the higher the MED .
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