The dermis of the skin is composed of three types of tissue that are present throughout the layer: collagen, elastic tissue and reticular fibers. The dermis contains many unique cells and structures, including hair follicles, oil glands, sweat glands, scent glands, blood vessels, nerves and specialized nerve cells.
The hair follicles are attached to the dermis through the erector pili muscle. The nerves coursing through the dermis transmit feelings of pain, itchiness and temperature. The specialized nerve cells in the dermis are the Meissner's and Vater-Pacini corpuscles; these nerve cells transmit sensations of touch and pleasure.
The thickness of the dermis depends on the location of the skin. For example, it is 0.3 millimeters on the eyelid and 3 millimeters on the back. The two main layers of the dermis are the papillary layer and the reticular layer. The papillary layer is the upper layer and contains a slim arrangement of collagen fibers, and the reticular layer is the lower layer and contains thick collagen fibers which are positioned parallel to the surface of the skin.
The other layers of the skin include the epidermis and the subcutaneous tissue. The epidermis is located above the dermis, while the subcutaneous tissue is located below the dermis.