dermis(redirected from derma)
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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.
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(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.