Psoriasis, a common skin disorder, is widely regarded to be multifactorial in origin including gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. Genetic and allelic heterogeneity, multifactorial inheritance, and low penetrance of susceptibility alleles substantially complicate both study design and interpretation of results. Notwithstanding these difficulties, genome-wide scans for psoriasis susceptibility have generated robust evidence for a major locus lying within the major histocompatibility complex (PSORS1, Psoriasis Susceptibility 1), on the short arm of chromosome 6. Subsequent studies have sought to refine the PSORS1 boundaries by means of linkage disequilibrium fine mapping. Studies of positional candidate genes have also been undertaken, focusing on HLA-C, corneodesmosin, and alpha-helix coiled-coil rod homolog genes. Methodologic approaches, results, and interpretations of these studies are discussed, as well as future research objectives. In particular, we emphasize the importance of characterizing PSORS1 linkage disequilibrium patterns and developing functional assays for disease-associated alleles.