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It is the innermost layer of skin also called the “True Skin”. It is tough, flexible and highly elastic. It varies in thickness from 1mm on eyelids to 5mm on back. It consists of connective tissue with several protein fibres like elastic and collagen fibres and a no of cells like fibroblasts, macrophages & mast cells. In addition it has numerous blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, sensory & motor nerve endings. It also contains sebaceous glands, hair follicles etc.

Dermis is arranged in 2 layers;

  • Papillary Layer
  • Reticular Layer

Papillary Layer

  1. It is 1/10th of dermis. It contains projections of elastic tissue that point upward into the epidermis called the Papillae, which contain blood capillaries (small blood vessels) and nerve endings to provide nutrition to the epidermis.
  2. It contains more of elastic tissue than the collagen fibers.
  3. Collagen is a protein based fibrous substance & Elastin provides the skin its tone & elasticity.

Reticular Layer

It lies in between the Papillary and the Subcutaneous layer. It contains more collagen fibers and less elastic fibres. It contains following structures in a mesh like network.
  • Fat cells
  • Blood vessels
  • Lymph Vessels
  • Sebaceous Glands
  • Sweat Glands
  • Hair Follicles
  • Arector pilli muscles


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