The Dermis is the layer directly beneath the epidermis and is divided into two layers. Papillary and reticular.
The primary functions of the dermis are to sustain and support the epidermis and anchoring it to the lower most layer of skin (subcutaneous tissue)
The dermis is where blood vessels, connections (papillae), hair shafts, oil and sweat glands, some nerve endings, lymph, collagen and elastin fibers sit.
The top layer of dermis is the papillary layer. This layer connects the dermis to the epidermis through finger like projections or papillae.
- Papillae contain sensory receptors to feel touch.
- Capillaries in the papillae which bring oxygen and nutrients to the epidermis and remove waste.
- Blood vessels in the papillae layer help with thermoregulation of the body.
The bottom layer of the dermis is the reticular layer.
- The reticular layer of the dermis is made up of crisscrossing collagen, elastin and reticular (connective tissue) fiber that helps give the skin strength and elasticity and helps anchor the dermis to the subcutaneous tissue.
- The reticular layer holds the epidermis and dermis together .
- This layer contains sweat glands, lymph vessels, hair follicles and sensory receptors for deep touch.
The dermis contains specialized cells: Fibroblasts, Mast cells, and Ground substances.
- Fibroblasts control the production of connective tissue, repair wounds, and produce scars.
- Mast cells release histamine, which produces inflammation to protect the skin from invasion and infection.
- Ground substance is an integral part of the healing process after an injury because it provides nutrients, removes waste and creates a moister wound that heals more quickly.