Evidence is accumulating to suggest that our indigenous microbial communities (microbiota) may have a role in modulating allergic and immune disorders of the skin. To examine the link between the microbiota and atopic dermatitis (AD), we examined a mouse model of defective cutaneous barrier function with an AD-like disease due to loss of Notch signaling. Comparisons of conventionally raised and germ-free (GF) mice revealed a similar degree of allergic skin inflammation, systemic atopy, and airway hypersensitivity. GF mutant animals expressed significantly higher levels of thymic stromal lymphopoietin, a major proinflammatory cytokine released by skin with defective barrier function, resulting in a more severe B-lymphoproliferative disorder that persisted into adulthood. These findings suggest a role for the microbiota in ameliorating stress signals released by keratinocytes in response to perturbation in cutaneous barrier function. © 2013 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.