What is the dermis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

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.


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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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.