Fingertip dermatoglyphic patterns of forty-five patients with atopic dermatitis were compared to those of sixty nonatopic derrnatologic patients, twenty-one of whom had hand dermatitis. The average number of digits in which linear grooves were detected was significantly higher in the atopic group than in the nonatopic controls (p < 0.005). Three or more digits with linear grooves were found in 95.2% of atopic patients with hand dermatitis and in 61.9% of controls with hand dermatitis (p < 0.005). A greater number of digits displaying linear grooves was found in control patients with hand dermatitis than in control patients without hand dermatitis. However, atopic patients with hand dermatitis had, on the average, an even greater number of digits with linear grooves than did control patients with hand dermatitis (p < 0.005). These findings suggest that linear grooves, although associated with hand dermatitis in general, are more commonly found in patients with atopic hand dermatitis. Although a significant increase in the whorl pattern was detected in female, but not in male, atopic patients when compared to sex-matched control groups (p < 0.0025), this increase was significant only in Caucasian females when compared to sex- and race-matched controls (p < 0.0005).