What Structures Does the Dermis Contain?

Structural elements of the dermis layer are collagen, elastin, and fibrillin. The dermis connects the epidermis and subcutaneous layer and provides skin with its strength and flexibility while cushioning the body from stress and strain, notes Merck Manuals.

The dermis also contains highly functional components such as hair follicles, nerve endings, sweat and sebaceous glands, and blood vessels, explains WebMD. Nerve endings in the dermis allow for the sense of heat and touch. Some parts of the skin, such as fingertips and toes, contain more nerve endings, causing them to be more sensitive. Blood vessels within the dermis layer provide nourishment, waste removal and temperature regulation for the skin. Sweat glands produce sweat as a reaction to heat or stress, which sometimes results in body odor. The sebaceous glands produce an oily substance through hair follicles that helps keep skin soft and protected from foreign substances. Hair follicles produce hair that is on the body, providing sensory capabilities and influencing the body’s appearance.

The dermis is denser in some body areas such as the areas around the soles of the feet, and thinner in other areas such as the eyelids. The dermis is the second layer of the skin. The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, while the subcutaneous layer is located below the dermis.