Patients with psoriasis, a chronic, hyperproliferative and noninfectious skin disease, suffer surprisingly fewer cutaneous infections than would be expected. This observation led us to the hypothesis that a local "chemical shield" in the form of antimicrobial proteins provides psoriatic skin with resistance against infection. We subsequently began a systematic analysis of in vitro antimicrobially active proteins in psoriatic-scale extracts. A biochemical approach with rigorous purification and characterization combined with antimicrobial testing identified a number of mostly new human antibiotic peptides and proteins. In this review, we will focus on the most prominent antimicrobial proteins in psoriatic-scale extracts, which we identified as the S100-protein psoriasin, human beta-defensin 2 (hBD-2), RNase 7, lysozyme, and human neutrophil defensin 1-3. Apart from these cutaneous, antimicrobial proteins, only a few others, including hBD-3, have been characterized. A great number of minor antimicrobial proteins await further structural characterization.