The incidence of chronic allergic dermatitis is rapidly increasing. Regulatory control of this disease has not been adequately explored. Here we report that mast cell-derived interleukin-2 (IL-2) contributes to the suppression of chronic allergic dermatitis. Mice deficient in IL-2 production, or deficient in mast cells (Kit W-sh/W-sh), showed exacerbated dermatitis upon repeated oxazolone challenge when compared to their wild-type counterparts. Adoptive transfer of wild-type, but not Il2 -/-, mast cells into Kit W-sh/W-sh mice dampened the inflammatory response. During the course of disease, mast cell expansion occurred at the site of inflammation and also in the spleen, where production of IL-2 by mast cells was markedly enhanced. In the absence of mast cell IL-2 production, the ratio of activated to regulatory T cells at the site of inflammation was increased. Thus, MC-derived IL-2 contributes to the maintenance of suppression in chronic allergic skin inflammation.