Plaque Psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of psoriasis.

About 80 to 90 percent of people living with psoriasis experience plaque psoriasis.

(Wilson et al., 2009)

Did You Know?


Psoriasis plaques appear as raised, inflamed, and scaly patches of skin that may also be itchy and painful. On Caucasian skin, plaques typically appear as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells or scale. On skin of color, the plaques may appear darker and thicker and more of a purple or grayish color or darker brown.

Plaques can appear anywhere on the body, although they most often appear on the scalp, knees, elbows, and torso. Plaques generally appear symmetrically on the body, affecting the same areas of the body on the right and left sides.

Plaque psoriasis often accompanies nail psoriasis which may look like discoloration, pitting, or separation of the nail from the nail bed.

Psoriasis plaques on a caucasian hand. Courtesy of Amit Garg, M.D.
A woman talks to her doctor in an office.

Treatment & Care

Learn about different treatment options for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and talk to your doctor about what might be right for you.

Treatment & Care for Plaque Psoriasis
Image of an arm and torso of a man of color covered in psoriasis plaques.

Treating Skin of Color

For some psoriasis patients, getting the right diagnosis isn’t always so black and white. And once minorities receive the proper diagnosis, they often face unique risks, challenges and stigmas.

Plaque Psoriasis in Skin of Color
A woman with dark skin and a woman of lighter skin both look at a mobile phone.

Psoriasis or Eczema?

Similar symptoms may have you confused, so we talked with an expert about differentiating factors.

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Common triggers for plaque psoriasis include:

  • Certain medications
  • Starting or stopping medicines
  • Infections
  • Injury to the skin
  • Stress
  • Tobacco or alcohol use


Treatment options for plaque psoriasis include topicals, phototherapy, oral treatments, and biologics. You and your health care provider will discuss the best treatment plan for you based on the severity of your symptoms and your medical history.

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Feeling Confused?

Let us walk you through your psoriasis treatment options.

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Scalp Psoriasis or Dandruff?

Plenty of people have confused one for the other, so we broke down some key differences.

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Seasonal Flares Guide

Learn how the seasons can impact your symptoms and what to do to minimize flares.

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Track Your Triggers

Learn about common triggers for psoriatic disease flares – and track your symptoms over time – to help pinpoint things that may cause you to flare. Request your free Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Flare Guide.

Get your tracker guide today

Last updated on 10/25/2022 by the National Psoriasis Foundation.


Wilson, F. C., Icen, M., Crowson, C. S., McEvoy, M. T., Gabriel, S. E., & Kremers, H. M. (2009). Incidence and clinical predictors of psoriatic arthritis in patients with psoriasis: a population-based study. Arthritis Rheum, 61(2), 233-239. doi:10.1002/art.24172

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