PASI Score: Understanding Your Psoriasis Severity

By Beth W. Orenstein
Reviewed by Allison Truong, M.D.
June 22, 2022

Is your psoriasis mild, moderate, or severe? Your doctor will want to make that distinction so they can give you the best treatment recommendations. They may also use your severity to explain to your insurance company why they’d like you to use a certain medication.

Dermatologists may use a number of different scales to classify psoriasis severity and discuss treatment options. The gold standard has long been the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI).

How Doctors Use the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index

The PASI is used often in doctors’ offices because many insurance companies require body surface area and PASI to be documented to approve certain medications, such as biologics. It’s also useful in clinical research, says Paul S. Yamauchi, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at the Dermatology Institute & Skin Care Center, in Santa Monica, California, because PASI can be used to monitor the progression of disease and to evaluate the effectiveness of different medications.

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