PSORIASIS SEVERITY
AND LOCATION

Understanding the severity of your psoriasis is one of the most important steps in your psoriasis journey. You will partner with your dermatologist, who will evaluate your severity by taking several factors into account, such as what percentage of your body is covered in plaques, to determine the severity of your psoriasis and develop a treatment plan.

Several factors go into determining whether your psoriasis is mild, moderate, or severe:

The factors that go into psoriasis severity include body surface covered, intensity and location of symptoms, and personal impact The factors that go into psoriasis severity include body surface covered, intensity and location of symptoms, and personal impact The factors that go into psoriasis severity include body surface covered, intensity and location of symptoms, and personal impact
Megaphone Illustration symbolizing an important callout Megaphone Illustration symbolizing an important callout Megaphone Illustration symbolizing an important callout

DEFINED: The Psoriasis Area Severity Index or PASI is one tool dermatologists use to determine severity of psoriasis by assessing percentage of body surface area involved, intensity of redness, scaling, and thickness of disease on skin.

Remember—each case of psoriasis is unique, so giving your doctor the full story about the physical and personal impact will help them assess the severity of your condition.

Illustration of a hand representing 1% of a body’s surface area Illustration of a hand representing 1% of a body’s surface area Illustration of a hand representing 1% of a body’s surface area

Body Surface Area: The 1% Hand Test

One of the most important factors is how much of your body is covered by psoriasis. You can use your hand to estimate this. One hand covers roughly 1% of your body’s surface area.

Illustration of a hand representing 1% of a body’s surface area Illustration of a hand representing 1% of a body’s surface area Illustration of a hand representing 1% of a body’s surface area

Mild Psoriasis

less than

3%

Moderate Psoriasis

3%-10%

Severe Psoriasis

more than

10%

Intensity of Symptoms

Dermatologists will also look at the intensity of your symptoms to help determine severity. If your plaques and scales are especially thick, red, scaly, or itchy, that can contribute to your psoriasis being more severe.

 

 

Psoriasis Location

Having symptoms in places that have a greater impact on your life can also play a role in severity. For example, on your face where it can be more embarrassing, or in folds of your skin that are constantly irritated.

If you’re too embarrassed to discuss a certain location, try using our doctor appointment checklist. It contains important talking points, including location, that you can fill out and hand to your doctor.

Remember—without this information, your dermatologist won’t be getting the full story.

Illustration of a book representing more psoriasis info Illustration of a book representing more psoriasis info Illustration of a book representing more psoriasis info

FACT: Need more proof psoriasis isn’t just a skin condition? Some people even experience psoriasis on their nails.

Personal Impact

The non-physical impact of psoriasis can also contribute to severity. This could include your emotional well-being, day-to-day activities, and relationships with others.

Ladder symbolizing psoriasis triggers beneath the skin

DIG DEEPER: Don’t be afraid to be honest when talking to your doctor—finding the right treatment plan can help in managing your psoriasis.

Now learn about Psoriasis Symptoms ➜