The P2X7 receptor is a trimeric ligand-gated cation channel present on immune and other cells. Activation of this receptor by its natural ligand extracellular adenosine triphosphate results in a variety of downstream responses, including the release of pro-inflammatory mediators and cell death. In normal skin, P2X7 is present on keratinocytes, Langerhans cells and fibroblasts, while the presence of this receptor on other cutaneous cells is mainly inferred from studies of equivalent cell types present in other tissues. Mast cells in normal skin however express negligible amounts of P2X7, which can be upregulated in cutaneous disease. This review discusses the potential significance of P2X7 in skin biology, and the role of this receptor in inflammatory skin disorders such as irritant and chronic dermatitis, psoriasis, graft-versus-host disease, as well is in wound healing, transplantation and skin cancer.