Psoriasis is a multifactoral and heterogenetically inherited disease. The role of hereditary transmission is supported by familial association, twin studies, and correlation with human leukocyte antigens (HLA). Numerous studies have proved that B13, B17, Cw6, and DR7 antigens are positively associated with psoriasis. Cw6 antigen has been repeatedly indicated to be the most significant marker for the risk prediction of the disease. On the basis of epidemiological studies and HLA analysis, a concept of two distinct disease patterns of psoriasis vulgaris was proposed. In type I psoriasis the disease has an early onset, strong correlation with Cw6, B13, B17, and DR7 antigens, and familiar inheritance. Type II psoriasis has a late onset, weak correlation with HLA antigens, and sporadic familiar occurrence. Both types seem to differ clinically. Moreover, some extended haplotypes were shown to be correlated with the disease, especially with the type I psoriasis. Although a psoriasis susceptibility gene(s) has not been yet identified, a number of candidate genes were studied, with evidence for a major locus located within the major histocompatibility complex (PSORS 1). Cw6 allele is the most extensively investigated candidate gene, but present evidence suggests that it is rather in strong linkage disequilibrium with the PSORS 1 gene than the susceptibility allele itself. This article reviews past and current data on the genetic background of psoriasis with special attention to its correlation with HLA antigens.