National Psoriasis Foundation
About Psoriasis



  • Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the U.S.
  • According to current studies, as many as 7.5 million Americans—approximately
    2.2 percent of the population--have psoriasis.
  • 125 million people worldwide—2 to 3 percent of the total population—have psoriasis, according to the World Psoriasis Day consortium.
  • Studies show that between 10 and 30 percent of people with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.
  • Psoriasis prevalence in African Americans is 1.3 percent compared to 2.5 percent of Caucasians.1

Quality of life

  • Psoriasis is not a cosmetic problem. Nearly 60 percent of people with psoriasis reported their disease to be a large problem in their everyday life.2
  • Nearly 40 percent with psoriatic arthritis reported their disease to be a large problem in everyday life.3
  • Patients with moderate to severe psoriasis experienced a greater negative impact on their quality of life.4
  • Psoriasis has a greater impact on quality of life in women and younger patients.4

Age of onset

  • Psoriasis often appears between the ages of 15 and 25, but can develop at any age.
  • Psoriatic arthritis usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50, but can develop at any age.

Severity of psoriasis

  • The National Psoriasis Foundation defines mild psoriasis as affecting less than 3 percent of the body; 3 percent to 10 percent is considered moderate; more than 10 percent is considered severe. For most individuals, your hand is about the same as 1 percent of the skin surface. However, the severity of psoriasis is also measured by how psoriasis affects a person's quality of life.
  • Nearly one-quarter of people with psoriasis have cases that are considered moderate to severe.

Cost of psoriasis

  • Total direct and indirect health care costs of psoriasis for patients are calculated at $135 billion annually in the U.S., or up to $26,000 per person.5 Direct costs, which include the cost of treatment and doctor's visits, can be as high as $8,000 each year per person.5 The cost of coping with comorbidities, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression, reaches almost $5,000 per person annually.5
  • Indirect costs, which take into account absences from work, or lost productivity on the job due to psoriasis, were estimated to be upwards of $4,000 per person annually—or as much as $35.4 billion for the nation.5
  • Approximately 60 percent of psoriasis patients missed an average of 26 days of work a year due to their illness.6

Genetic aspects of psoriasis

  • About one out of three people with psoriasis report having a relative with psoriasis.
  • If one parent has psoriasis, a child has about a 10 percent chance of having psoriasis. If both parents have psoriasis, a child has approximately a 50 percent chance of developing the disease.

Cited studies

1. Gelfand JM, Stern RS, Nijsten T, Feldman SR, Thomas J, Kist J, Rolstad T, Margolis DJ. The prevalence of psoriasis in African Americans: results from a population-based study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Jan;52(1):23-6.
2. Stern RS, Nijsten T, Feldman SR, Margolis DJ, Rolstad T. Psoriasis is common, carries a substantial burden even when not extensive, and is associated with widespread treatment dissatisfaction. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2004 Mar;9(2):136-9.
3. Gelfand JM, Gladman DD, Mease PJ, Smith N, Margolis DJ, Nijsten T, Stern RS, Feldman SR, Rolstad T. Epidemiology of psoriatic arthritis in the population of the United States. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005 Oct;53(4):573.
4. Gelfand JM, Feldman SR, Stern RS, Thomas J, Rolstad T, Margolis DJ. Determinants of quality of life in patients with psoriasis: a study from the U.S. population. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 Nov;51(5):704-8.
5. Brezinski,EA, Dhillon JS, Armstrong, AW. The economic burden of psoriasis in the United States. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Jan;10.1001.
6. Horn EJ, Fox KM, Patel V, Chiou CF, Dann F, Lebwohl M. Association of patient reported psoriasis severity with income and employment. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Aug; 57(6):963-71.

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