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What is the dermis?

Arthur W. Perry, MD
Plastic Surgery
The lower layer of the skin, the dermis, is the structural layer, the leather of the skin. It holds you together. The dermis is made up mostly of collagen and about 4% elastin fibers. Collagen provides the strength of the skin, while elastin allows it to stretch and snap back.

Collagen and elastin fibers are held together in a pool of very complex sugars and proteins. Hyaluronic acid is one of the sugars of the skin. It is important when we consider moisturizers and fillers of the skin, since it can absorb a thousand times its weight in water.
Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

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Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery (Yale University Press Health & Wellness)

The public’s recent exuberance toward cosmetic surgery has spurred an unprecedented demand for appearance-changing procedures. But how can an average consumer discern the hype from solid truth? ...

The dermis is the middle layer of skin. It is the thickest skin layer and is made up of two sublayers that contain small blood and lymph vessels, nerves, hair follicles, sweat and oil glands, and nerve receptors to sense touch, temperature, pressure, position, and pain.

Dermal cells called fibroblasts manufacture collagen, a type of connective tissue that comprises about 95% of the dermis. Collagen gives skin its strength and resilience. Fibroblasts also manufacture elastin, a protein that makes skin flexible. Breakdown of collagen and elastin contributes to wrinkling.

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Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

The thickest layer of skin, the dermis is made up of cells that produce two proteins, collagen and elastin, that give your skin both strength and flexibility. The dermis also contains such important skin features as hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands that produce the oil (sebum) that keeps hair and skin lubricated.

The dermis also contains lymph channels that drain to deeper lymph nodes to help clear toxins, as well as little blood vessels that act as a transport system to allow nutrients to feed the skin.The thickest layer of skin, the dermis is made up of cells that produce two proteins, collagen and elastin, that give your skin both strength and flexibility. The dermis also contains such important skin features as hair follicles, sweat glands, and sebaceous glands that produce the oil (sebum) that keeps hair and skin lubricated. The dermis also contains lymph channels that drain to deeper lymph nodes to help clear toxins, as well as little blood vessels that act as a transport system to allow nutrients to feed the skin.

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

The dermis is the layer just below the epidermis of the skin. There are many elements that make up the dermis, including oil glands, collagen and nerve endings.

 

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The dermis is the thick layer of skin underneath the dry surface layer of the skin. It contributes a lot to how we look and changes in the dermis make us look older. Watch the animation to see all the skin structures.


Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology
Beneath the elaborately woven levels of the epidermis lies the cement-like basement membrane, which glues the epidermis to the dermis. Lying under all those strata, the dermis seems as if it would be deeper down, but it's only one millimeter past the surface of your skin- less than the thickness of your thumbnail!
The dermis is where collagen and elastin are found, which is one reason it's the coveted destination for most of the active ingredients found in cosmetic products. In fact, the protein collagen makes up 70 percent of the dermis. It is a dense filler, much like the Styrofoam we use to pack fragile things. Elastin is connective tissue, the fine rubber bands, so to speak, that hold the foamy collagen in place so everything can flex and move. The beautiful scaffolds of collagen and elastin anchor the precious, vulnerable structures in the dermis in place and protect them from injury. Almost twice as thick as the epidermis above it, this rich layer is packed with nerve receptors that trigger sensation in our skin, blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients, sweat and oil glands, and hair follicles.
Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.