For consumers

About plaque psoriasis

  • Plaque psoriasis is a type of psoriasis, a condition that causes inflammation in the body seen as raised, red or silver scaly patches, usually found on the elbows, knees, lower back and scalp.
  • Psoriasis is caused by the immune system attacking cells in your own body. It primarily affects the skin by increasing blood flow (redness), causing skin cells to multiply too rapidly (thickening), and preventing maturation of the skin cells (scaling or flaking). Inflammation can also affect other parts of the body, particularly the musculoskeletal system causing psoriatic arthritis.
  • Topical treatments (eg, creams and ointments) are usually the first treatments doctors prescribe for plaque psoriasis.
  • If topical treatments alone don’t control your symptoms, your doctor may also prescribe other treatments that can be used in combination with creams or ointments. This includes phototherapy (light therapy) or other medicines which target your body’s immune response.
  • Understand the range of treatments that are available to you, how they might work and how to use them to get the best results. Ask your doctor about what you can expect from the treatment and when you should start seeing results.
  • It’s important to continue using your medicine as prescribed and see your doctor if you’re not noticing improvements.

Managing plaque psoriasis

Topical treatments factsheet Getty Images-1207171151

Topical treatments for plaque psoriasis

There are many topical treatments, such as creams and ointments, that can help treat your plaque psoriasis. Find out how to get the most out of these treatments and questions to ask your health care team to help you understand.

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My options when topical treatments aren’t enough

Use this tool with your dermatologist to help you understand the next steps in managing your plaque psoriasis. Find out how the treatments are used and what else you should consider if prescribed them.

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Methotrexate Getty Images-1323850461

Low-dose methotrexate for plaque psoriasis

Methotrexate is a medicine used in low doses to treat plaque psoriasis. This action plan can help you discuss methotrexate with your dermatologist and plan the best way to take your medicine.

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Safe use of low-dose methotrexate factsheet

This action plan can help you use low-dose methotrexate safely.

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Translated resources

The above resources are available in Arabic, simplified Chinese (Mandarin) and Vietnamese.

Translated resources

What is psoriasis?

Follow David’s plaque psoriasis treatment journey.

MedicineWise App

The MedicineWise app is a free health and medicines management app. Features have been developed to support people with plaque psoriasis, including a dose tracker to manage complex dosing or stepping up or stepping down of medicines. The MedicineWise app can:

  • keep track of your medicines and remind you when your medicine doses and appointments are due
  • store your information such as your health conditions and allergies
  • allow you to share your health information with your health professionals and people who may be caring for you
  • provide you with trusted, relevant and up-to-date information relating to your medicines and your health conditions
Find out more

Practical support for newly diagnosed patients


Helping consumers and health professionals make safe and wise therapeutic decisions about biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) and other specialised medicines. Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health through the Value in Prescribing bDMARDs Program Grant.

The consortium also works closely with the key dermatology organisations, The Australasian College of Dermatologists and Psoriasis Australia.