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What's Your Psoriasis Severity?

By Anonymous
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What’s Your Psoriasis Severity? iStock

Part  1 of 5: Overview 

Understanding psoriasis 

Psoriasis is a common chronic autoimmune disease. It causes fast growth of skin cells. It's marked by raised, scaly, itchy, dry, and red skin patches. These patches are called psoriasis plaques.

Psoriasis is a very complex disease. There are many types of psoriasis, and they can range in severity. One big question you may have is, "How severe is my psoriasis?"

The severity of plaque psoriasis differs greatly from person to person. Certain treatments work better on mild to moderate psoriasis, while more powerful drugs help moderate to severe psoriasis. To treat your psoriasis, your doctor has to know how severe your psoriasis is.

However, it can be challenging for a doctor to classify how severe someone's psoriasis is. There's currently no consensus on how to define it. In general, psoriasis is classified on a scale from mild to severe. Your classification depends on many factors. These include how much surface area the condition affects and your specific physical symptoms. Keep reading for more on how psoriasis is classified.

Part 2 of 5: Mild to moderate

Mild to moderate psoriasis

Mild to moderate psoriasis is when plaques cover less than 5 percent of your body surface area. Psoriatic plaques look like raised surfaces with a silvery cover of dead skin cells. These are called scales.

Mild to moderate psoriasis does not occur in sensitive regions on your body. These include your genitals, face, hands, and feet.

Read more in Psoriasis Resources
  • American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). Psoriasis. Retrieved from https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/conditions/psoriasis
  • Crow, J. M. (2012, December 20). Psoriasis uncovered. Nature, 492, S50ñS51. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v492/n7429_supp/full/492S50a.html
  • Finlay, A.Y. & Khan, G.K. (1994, May). Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI)--a simple practical measure for routine clinical use. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 19(3), 210-216. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8033378  
  • Henseler, T. & Schmitt-Rau, K. (2008, October). A comparison between BSA, PASI, PLASI and SAPASI as measures of disease severity and improvement by therapy in patients with psoriasis. International Journal of Dermatology, 47 (10), 1019-1023. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18986347
  • Lewis-Jones, M.S., & Finlay, A.Y. (1995, June). The Children's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI): Initial validation and practical use. British Journal of Dermatology, 132(6), 942-949. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7662573
  • Menter, A., Gottlieb, A., Feldman, S. R., Van Voorhees, A. S., Leonardi, C. L., Gordon, K. B., Ö Bhushan, R. (2008). Guidelines of care for the management of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 58(5), 826ñ850. Retrieved from http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(08)00273-9/abstract
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2012, October). Psoriasis: Assessment and management. Retrieved from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg153/chapter/guidance#assessment-and-referral
  • Psoriasis area & severity index. (2008, July). Retrieved from http://www.papaa.org/articles/psoriasis-area-severity-index
  • Spuls, P. I., Lecluse, L. L. A., Poulsen, M.-L. N. F., Bos, J. D., Stern, R. S., & Nijsten, T. (2010). How good are clinical severity and outcome measures for psoriasis?: Quantitative evaluation in a systematic review. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 130(4), 933ñ943. Retrieved from http://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(15)34764-3/abstract
  • Weigle, N., & McBane, S. (2013, May 1). Psoriasis. American Family Physician, 87(9), 626-633. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0501/p626.html

Psoriasis Resources

5 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter Without Agitating Your Psoriasis

5 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter Without Agitating Your Psoriasis

10 Ways to Treat Psoriasis at Home

10 Ways to Treat Psoriasis at Home

Why Your Psoriasis Treatment Is Not Working

Why Your Psoriasis Treatment Is Not Working

My Nightly Routine with Psoriasis

My Nightly Routine with Psoriasis

All in Psoriasis Resources

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.