The hyper-immunoglobulin E (IgE) syndromes (HIES) are primary immunodeficiencies characterized by the clinical triad of recurrent staphylococcal abscesses, recurrent cyst-forming pneumonia, and an elevated serum IgE level of >2000 IU/ml. Most cases are sporadic; however, multiplex families displaying autosomal dominant (AD) and autosomal recessive (AR) inheritance have been described. In most sporadic and AD cases, the HIES clinical triad is part of a multisystem disorder including abnormalities of the soft tissue, skeletal, and dental systems. In contrast, those with AR-HIES have severe molluscum contagiosum and other viral infections and may develop severe neurological complications. Unlike patients with sporadic HIES and AD-HIES, those with AR-HIES lack skeletal or dental involvement and do not develop lung cysts. Additional variants of HIES are discussed in this review. The etiology of HIES is still unresolved. Recent research points toward a skewed T helper 1 (Th1) cell/Th2 cell ratio and the involvement of chemokines. Therapy for HIES is directed at prevention and management of infections by using sustained systemic antibiotics and antifungals along with topical therapy for eczema and drainage of abscesses. Anti-staphylococcal antibiotic prophylaxis is useful. Interferons, immunoglobulin supplementation, or low-dose cyclosporine A have been reported to benefit selected patients, but they are not generally indicated.