Frequently Asked Questions About Moderate To Severe Psoriasis


Paul Yamauchi, MD

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Even though psoriasis affects millions of Americans, there's a lot people don't know about the condition. Between the stigma of psoriasis and the number of different treatments available, many patients might not know where to begin. Dermatologist Paul Yamauchi, MD, answers some of the most common questions he hears from psoriasis patients.

1. Q: What is moderate to severe psoriasis?

A: Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition characterized by red, itchy plaques on the body. I like to tell my patients psoriasis basically means their immune system is in overdrive, which creates the psoriatic lesions. There are several different levels of severity in psoriasis based on how red and thick the plaques are, which areas of the body are covered and how much of the body is covered. Think of the palm of your hand as 1% of your body’s surface. If 1 to 3 palms worth of your skin, or 1 to 3% of your body’s surface, is affected by psoriasis plaques, it’s considered mild. If 3 to 10% is affected, your psoriasis is considered moderate, and if more than 10% of your body is covered, it’s considered severe.

Psoriasis is a difficult condition to live with—and not everyone knows the whole story. Learn how to separate fact from fiction.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Nov 6, 2015