Psoriasis can be mild, moderate or severe
People with psoriasis on less than three percent of their body are considered to have a mild case. Those with three to 10 percent of the body affected by psoriasis are considered a moderate case. More than 10 percent is considered severe. (The surface area of the hand equals about one percent of the skin.)
About four out of five people with psoriasis have what is considered mild psoriasis, and about one out of five have moderate to severe psoriasis. These categories are useful for selecting which treatments may be most appropriate for each individual.
However, the severity of psoriasis is also measured by how psoriasis affects a person's quality of life. For example, psoriasis can have a serious impact on one’s daily activities even if it involves a small area, such as the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
Generally, for those people who have mild psoriasis—isolated patches on the knees, elbows, scalp and hands and feet—topical treatments, including moisturizers, and over-the-counter and prescription creams, ointments and shampoos are usually sufficient to control the plaques.
Many successful psoriasis alternative therapies are also available and widely used with beneficial effects by people with mild psoriasis. Find out as much as you can about all the options available to you, and then learn what works best for your own mild psoriasis.
Treating moderate to severe psoriasis usually involves a combination of treatment strategies. Besides topical treatments, your doctor may prescribe phototherapy (also known as light therapy) and/or systemic medications, including biologic drugs. Phototherapy involves regularly exposing the skin to light, and systemic medications are prescription drugs administered orally or by injection that work throughout the body.