Atopic dermatitis is a highly itchy chronic inflammatory skin disease that commonly occurs during early infancy and childhood. It attracts public attention by reports of its rapidly increasing prevalence and the significant adverse effects it can have on quality of life, Even though atopic dermatitis results from an interaction of susceptibility genes and environmental factors, it has been considered as a typical environmental disease. In this article, I challenge the proposition that atopic dermatitis is an environmental disease. First I review the mechanism of atopic dermatitis. Second, I check whether atopic dermatitis meets the conditions that are needed to be an environmental disease. Third the process how atopic dermatitis has risen as a typical environmental disease in Korean society is presented. In the conclusion section, I present prediction on the future prevalence of atopic dermatitis in Korea and some suggestion on the management of atopic dermatitis.