A review on atopic dermatitis is given, considering as basic information articles published over the period of February 1, 2000 to January 31, 2001. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, inflammatory, primarily genetic-determined skin disease of which the cause is unknown. Its prevalence is rising in the industrialized countries, and no one knows why. The hygienic theory is most promising. Although most cases of atopic dermatitis are mild, the disease may be severe and widespread, with much impact on morbidity and social life. Mild cases usually clear and compromise 60% of the cases. Atopic dermatitis may always turn back. The clinical features are age related. Recently, a new subgroup was noted by several dermatologists in different parts of the world, consisting of people who suffer from atopic dermatitis for the first time at adult age. Food allergy, intolerance, and diet are still controversial and play a role especially in children until the age of 5 years. Diagnostic tests, such as the Atopy Patch Test, using food allergens, adds 10% or more positives and imitates the late-phase clinical manifestations. The Atopy Patch Test is still experimental as a diagnostic tool and has shortcomings, like difficulty in reading. Financial costs of treating and caring for atopic dermatitis may be high, stressing the importance of health care.