Psoriasis is recognized as a complex disease for which multiple genetic and non-genetic factors influence susceptibility. The major susceptibility locus resides in the MHC class I region and, until relatively recently, evidence for non-MHC loci was inconsistent. Like many common diseases, knowledge of the genetic basis of this condition has been advanced dramatically in recent times with the advent of genome-wide association studies using single nucleotide polymorphisms. Here, we give an overview of current knowledge of genetic risk factors for psoriasis and consider emerging studies that may further add to our understanding of the genetic basis of the disease. © 2009 BioMed Central Ltd.