The individual, family, and public health burden of atopic dermatitis (AD) is considerable. The prevalence of AD is high, the signs and symptoms of the disease adversely affect quality of life for patients and their families, and the comorbid conditions associated with AD can increase considerably the negative impact of the disease. These comorbid conditions patients with AD are susceptible to include skin infectious, IgE-mediated diseases, and mental health disorders. New research identifies the skin barrier as not only an important initiator of atopic dermatitis but may even be a site for allergic sensitization to protein antigens. The skin barrier represents a potential new target for novel atopic prevention strategies.