Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by type 2 cytokine-driven skin inflammation and epithelial barrier dysfunction. The latter is believed to allow the increased penetration of chemicals, toxins, and allergens into the skin. House dust mite allergens, particularly Der p 2, are important triggers in sensitized individuals with AD; the precise actions of these allergens in epithelial biology remain, however, incompletely understood. In this study, we compared the effects of the protein allergen Der p 2 and a mix of non-IgE-reactive Der p 2 peptides on skin cells using patch tests in AD patients and healthy participants. We then analyzed mRNA expression profiles of keratinocytes by single-cell RNA-sequencing. We report that existing barrier deficiencies in the non-lesional skin of AD patients allow deep penetration of Der p 2 and its peptides, leading to local microinflammation. Der p 2 protein specifically upregulated genes involved in the innate immune system, stress, and danger signals in suprabasal KC. Der p 2 peptides further downregulated skin barrier genes, in particular the expression of genes involved in cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion. Peptides also induced genes involved in hyperproliferation and caused disturbances in keratinocyte differentiation. Furthermore, inflammasome-relevant genes and IL18 were overexpressed, while KRT1 was downregulated. Our data suggest that Der p 2 peptides contribute to AD initiation and exacerbation by augmenting hallmark features of AD, such as skin inflammation, barrier disruption, and hyperplasia of keratinocytes.