• atopic dermatitis;
  • diagnosis;
  • Hanifin & Rajka Criteria;
  • Millennium Criteria;
  • UK Working Party Criteria


There is no gold standard for a definite diagnosis of atopic dermatitis. For the time being, several lists of diagnostic criteria have been proposed, some of them in actual use. The Millennium Criteria have been proposed to diagnose atopic dermatitis and to differentiate it from atopiform dermatitis. Our aim was to further refine the Millennium Criteria into a manageable set that can differentiate between atopic and atopiform dermatitis and other entities. The hereby refined Millennium Criteria will be compared with the UK Working Party Criteria and the Hanifin & Rajka Criteria. Data of 210 included patients were used. After multiple logistic regression, a minimum set of five criteria was identified as best discriminators: (i) typical morphology; (ii) early age of onset; (iii) Dennie–Morgan fold; (iv) historical and (v) actual flexural involvement. The refined Millennium Criteria were constituted from these criteria. When comparing the different list for validity in diagnosing atopic dermatitis, the refined Millennium Criteria showed a sensitivity of 81.8% and a specificity of 98.8% compared to a sensitivity of 97.7% and specificity of 72.9% of the UK Criteria and a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 48.8% of the Hanifin & Rajka Criteria. This refinement and validity study shows that the refined Millennium Criteria are a valid tool to diagnose atopic and atopiform dermatitis in a hospital-based setting and therefore could be incorporated in clinical practice and trials.