The dermis is the layer of skin (the skin is also known as the 'integument', or 'integumentary system') beneath the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and above the subcutaneous layer. The dermis is the thickest layer of the skin and consists of fibrous and elastic tissue that give the skin its strength and flexibility. The dermis is sometimes also referred to as the “corium”.
The many loose connective tissues in the dermis layer of the skin include:
The stem of the word 'dermis' (derm-) also forms the stem of many words that refer to aspects of or associated with skin, for example:
- dermal - an adjective, e.g. as in the dermal root sheath (of a hair follicle)
- dermatitis - a skin condition - inflammation of the skin, which can involve itching, weeping and crusting
- dermatochalasis - excessive eyelid skin
- dermatology - the medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the skin
To view the location of the dermis layer relative to other parts of the skin see the diagram of the structure of the skin. This may be of particular interest to students of courses in massage, reflexology, beauty therapies, and other health science or clinical courses.