Since the first description of the subpopulations of TH1 and TH2 cells, insights into the development and control of these cells as two polarized and physiologically balanced subsets have been generated. In particular, implications of the TH1-TH2 concept for TH cell-mediated skin disorders have been discovered. This article will review the basic factors that control the development of TH1 and TH2 cells, such as the cytokines IL-12 and IL-4 and transcription factors, the possible role of costimulatory molecules, and specialized dendritic cell populations. These regulatory mechanisms will be discussed in the context of polarized TH1 or TH2 skin disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Also presented are the principles that govern how chemokines and chemokine receptors recruit TH1 and TH2 cells to inflammatory sites and how they amplify these polarized TH cell responses. All of these concepts, including a novel role for IL-4-inducing TH1 responses, can contribute to the design of better therapeutic strategies to modulate TH cell-mediated immune responses.