Skin inflammatory (nontumor)
Normal dermis and subcutis

Topic Completed: 1 August 2010

Revised: 26 March 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Normal dermis and subcutis

Mowafak Hamodat, M.B.Ch.B., M.Sc.
Page views in 2018: 723
Page views in 2019 to date: 666
Cite this page: Hamodat M Normal dermis and subcutis. website. Accessed October 16th, 2019.
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Contains collagen and elastic fibers within ground substance composed of mucopolysaccharides and mucoproteins
  • Also contains adnexa, nerves and blood vessels
  • Degenerates with age and sunlight and becomes basophilic
  • Divided into superficial papillary dermis and deeper reticular dermis
  • Papillary dermis contains rete pegs and periadnexal dermis
  • Papillary dermis has thin and delicate collagen fibers compared to thicker fibers in reticular dermis
  • Dermis has varying degrees of thickness - thicker on back
  • Acral skin has Sucquet-Hoyel canals specialized arteriovenous anastomoses, surrounded by glomus cells
  • Glomus cells are modified smooth muscle cells that are round with clear cytoplasm and well defined cytoplasmic borders
  • Papillary dermis of palms and soles contains Wagner-Meissner corpuscles with a tactile function
  • Deep dermis and subcutis of weight bearing areas contain Pacinian corpuscles, sensitive to pressure
  • Normal dermis contains a few fibroblasts, mast cells, macrophages, lymphocytes and dermal dendrocytes (Factor XIIIa+)
  • Subcutis also called subcutaneous; contains lobules of mature adipose tissue and thin connective tissue septa
Back to top