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skin, the flexible tissue (integument) enclosing the body of vertebrate animals. In humans and other mammals, the skin operates a complex organ of numerous structures (sometimes called the integumentary system) serving vital protective and metabolic functions. It contains two main layers of cells: a thin outer layer, the epidermis, and a thicker inner layer, the dermis. Along the internal surface of the epidermis, young cells continuously multiply, pushing the older cells outward. At the outer surface the older cells flatten and overlap to form a tough membrane and gradually shed as calluses or collections of dead skin. Horns, hoofs, hair (fur), feathers, and scales are evolutionary adaptations of the epidermis. Although the epidermis has no blood vessels, its deeper strata contain melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin. The underlying dermis consists of connective tissue in which are embedded blood vessels, lymph channels, nerve endings, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, fat cells, hair follicles, and muscles. The nerve endings, called receptors, perform an important sensory function. They respond to various stimuli, including contact, heat, and cold. Response to cold activates the erector muscles, causing hair or fur to stand erect; fright also causes this reaction. From the outer surface of the dermis extend numerous projections (papillae) that fit into pits on the inner surface of the epidermis so that the two layers are firmly locked together. In humans, whorls on the fingers show where the epidermis falls between rows of papillae, making the patterns used in fingerprinting. The skin provides a barrier against invasion by outside organisms and protects underlying tissues and organs from abrasion and other injury, and its pigments shield the body from the dangerous ultraviolet rays in sunlight. It also waterproofs the body, preventing excessive loss or gain of bodily moisture. Human skin performs several functions that help maintain normal body temperature: its numerous sweat glands excrete waste products along with salt-laden moisture, the evaporation of which may account, in certain circumstances, for as much as 90% of the cooling of the body; its fat cells act as insulation against cold; and when the body overheats, the skin's extensive small blood vessels carry warm blood near the surface where it is cooled. The skin is lubricated by its own oil glands, which keep both the outside layer of the epidermis and the hair from drying to brittleness. Human skin has remarkable self-healing properties, particularly when only the epidermis is damaged. Even when the injury damages the dermis, healing may still be complete if the wounded area occurs in a part of the body with a rich blood supply. Deeper wounds, penetrating to the underlying tissue, heal by scar formation. Scar tissue lacks the infection-resisting and metabolic functions of healthy skin; hence, sufficiently extensive skin loss by widespread burns or wounds may cause death.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(corium, cutis, true skin), the connective-tissue part of the skin in vertebrates and man, located beneath the epidermis.

The dermis is normally more or less loosely connected to the subjacent organs by loose subcutaneous connective tissue, which is often rich in fatty deposits. The dermis consists of two layers. The surface (papillary, spongy, subepithelial) layer functions mainly to nourish the epidermis and its derivatives (glands, feathers, hairs); it is rich in blood vessels, has a relatively loose structure, and, in some animals, forms papillae that project into the epidermis. The layer beneath it (reticular, compact) constitutes most of the dermis. It consists of solid connective tissue and has mainly a supportive function.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The deep layer of the skin, a dense connective tissue richly supplied with blood vessels, nerves, and sensory organs. Also known as corium; cutis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dubai Derma, is organised by Index Conferences & Exhibitions - a member of Index Holding, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and President of Dubai Health Authority in cooperation with the Pan Arab League of Dermatology, Arab Academy of Dermatology & Aesthetics (AADA), American Academy of Dermatology, (AAD), European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) and GCC League of Dermatologists and supported by Government of Dubai and Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
Derma E is a leading natural, eco-ethical skincare brand with a global presence.
"Increasingly, consumers want products that are vegan, cruelty free and environmentally friendly, all of which describe derma e products."
Derma Shield and Horse Shield are available in an aerosol mousse or lotion in the following packaging options:
The first of a total of 35 patients will be included in the trial in December 2012, Moberg Derma said.
Following today's agreement, Emtrix will be available in all large markets in Europe, in the USA and in Australia, Moberg Derma's CEO, Peter Wolpert, said.
Khattar further added: "We trust our presence in such exhibitions will help the Derma Specialists and Doctors to view the latest revolutionary technologies we are bringing to them."
Dermatologically approved, hypoallergenic and suitable for children, the Simple Derma Intensive Relief Cream is clinically proven to show results in just four days.
(active Manuka honey absorbent dressing, Derma Sciences Inc.)
Clinique has created a comprehensive brightening line - Derma White - which directly addresses skin discolourations through customisable daily care, treatment, prevention and makeup.
According to Barry Wolfenson, marketing director from Derma Sciences, based in Princeton, N.J., when it comes to wound care, the industry is running in two parallel directions.
Derma Sciences offers Dermagran[R] 3-N-1 Cleansing Foam, a no-rinse perineal cleanser, body wash, and shampoo with Zinc-Nutrient technology.