This second article in the Psoriasis Series looks at how many people have psoriasis (prevalence) and what these people have in common. Research into the common factors associated with an illness helps identify risk factors for a disease, such as psoriasis. Once we know the risk factors, we can begin making changes to nutrition, lifestyle and behaviours. These changes will help to reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. Read more about what we know about the risk factors for psoriasis.

Approximately 2.5% of adults in the UK have been diagnosed with psoriasis. However, it is difficult to estimate the number of people with psoriasis in other countries, mainly because each country has a different way of diagnosing this condition. Also, there are variations in the availability and quality of dermatology services between countries. Consequently, this can make it difficult to estimate how many people have the disease.
Although the differences above are frustrating, we can estimate the number of cases of psoriasis in some countries. Consequently, we know that the number of cases of psoriasis around the world ranges between 0.27% and 11.4% of the population. It is likely that differences in age, location, ethnicity, income, genetic and environmental factors probably affect the number of people with psoriasis in each country. Later posts give more information on these differences.

Why do we care about the incidence of psoriasis worldwide and how is this relevant to you?

Studies that collect information about the number of people with psoriasis in different countries help identify the factors that may cause the disease. For instance, the results from studies have helped to identify potential lifestyle and nutritional factors that may increase the risk of getting psoriasis as well as the severity of the symptoms.
The graph below (Figure 1) is from an article in the British Medical Association (BMJ), which looked into the number of new cases of psoriasis in various countries.

Figure 1: The Global Prevalence of Psoriasis

Figure 1 shows that more people have psoriasis in wealthier countries such as Europe, North America and Australasia. As yet, the risk factors that increase the likelihood of psoriasis in high-income countries aren’t fully understood. However, some common features have helped identify risk factors associated with lifestyle, nutritional and behavioural factors. Advice that aims to support beneficial nutritional and lifestyle changes will help reduce the severity of psoriasis

The Prevalence of Psoriasis: A Summary.

Information on the prevalence helps to identify factors that may increase or the risk of, or protect against, psoriasis.

The number of people with psoriasis (prevalence) varies between countries, although it is more common in high-income countries

The countries in Europe, North America and Australasia have the highest number of people with psoriasis

The prevalence of psoriasis in the UK is approximately 2.4% of the adult population

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1. Rosa Parisi, Deborah P.M. Symmons2,3, Christopher E.M. Griffiths4, Darren M. Ashcroft1 (2013) Global Epidemiology of Psoriasis: A Systematic Review of Incidence and Prevalence Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2013) 133, 377–385; doi:10.1038/jid.2012.339 (on behalf of the Identification and Management of Psoriasis and Associated ComorbidiTy (IMPACT) project team)

2. Parisi R, Iskandar I, Kontopantelis E, Augustinn E, et al. (2020) on behalf of the Global Psoriasis Atlas. National, regional, and worldwide epidemiology of psoriasis: a systematic analysis and modelling study. BMJ;369:m1590 | doi: 10.1136/bmj.m15902

3. I Iskandar iD ,1,2 R. Parisi iD ,2,3 C.E.M. Griffiths,2,4 and D.M. Ashcroft1,2 on behalf of the Global Psoriasis. Atlas Systematic review examining changes over time and variation in the incidence and prevalence of psoriasis by age and gender British Journal of Dermatology (2021) 184, pp243–258

Please be aware that the information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health professional who, amongst other things, knows you, your circumstances and your medical history. The information on these pages aims to provide evidence-based guidance to support you in seeking self-care treatment for your condition. As a health professional myself, I aim to work alongside all other health professionals to support you in your journey to improve your health. You may wish to share the information on this site with your dermatologist or GP for a second perspective or opinion.