Psoriasis for the primary care practitioner

J Am Assoc Nurse Pract. 2017 Mar;29(3):157-178. doi: 10.1002/2327-6924.12443. Epub 2017 Feb 23.


Primary care practitioners (PCPs) are playing an increasingly important role in the management and care of psoriasis. Thus, it is important for PCPs to be knowledgeable about the disease and to be able to differentiate between common myths and facts related to diagnosis and treatment. By building relationships with their patients and working collaboratively with dermatology health professionals and other specialists, PCPs can facilitate communication about the patient's treatment preferences and expectations for symptom relief, and they may be better able to work with the patient to optimize treatment adherence. This review aims to provide PCPs with a primer on psoriasis, its associated comorbidities, and its impact on patients' quality of life. Discussion topics include psoriasis epidemiology, triggering factors, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, comorbidities, and approaches to treatment. This review also highlights the importance of staying abreast of advances in the understanding of psoriasis pathogenesis as well as emerging therapeutic treatment options, because these advances may change the treatment landscape and increase patients' expectations for skin clearance.

Keywords: Psoriasis; advanced practice nurse; dermatology; etiology; evaluation; family practice; nurse practitioner; primary health care; therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression / psychology
  • Humans
  • Nurse Practitioners / standards
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psoriasis / diagnosis
  • Psoriasis / pathology*
  • Psoriasis / therapy*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Skin Cream / adverse effects
  • Skin Cream / therapeutic use