Psoriasis vulgaris is a common and chronic inflammatory skin disease which has the potential to significantly reduce the quality of life in severely affected patients. The incidence of psoriasis in Western industrialized countries ranges from 1.5 to 2%. Despite the large variety of treatment options available, patient surveys have revealed insufficient satisfaction with the efficacy of available treatments and a high rate of medication non-compliance. To optimize the treatment of psoriasis in Germany, the Deutsche Dermatologische Gesellschaft and the Berufsverband Deutscher Dermatologen (BVDD) have initiated a project to develop evidence-based guidelines for the management of psoriasis. The guidelines focus on induction therapy in cases of mild, moderate, and severe plaque-type psoriasis in adults. The short version of the guidelines reported here consist of a series of therapeutic recommendations that are based on a systematic literature search and subsequent discussion with experts in the field; they have been approved by a team of dermatology experts. In addition to the therapeutic recommendations provided in this short version, the full version of the guidelines includes information on contraindications, adverse events, drug interactions, practicality, and costs as well as detailed information on how best to apply the treatments described (for full version, please see Nast et al., JDDG, Suppl 2:S1–S126, 2006; or http://www.psoriasis-leitlinie.de).