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Difference between Epidermis and Dermis

Dermis vs. Epidermis

The term epidermis and dermis refers to the external layer of the body which protects the skin from infection and pollution. If we look from a general perspective, then there remains a thin line of difference between both dermis and epidermis. The main difference which can be drawn is that epidermis refers to the outermost part of the body which protects the body from trauma, dehydration, and infections whereas dermis refers to tissue just below the epidermis.

Difference Chart

ORIGIN Ectoderm Mesoderm
VASCULARITY Avascular Vascular
CHARACTERISTICS Keratinized stratified epithelium Contains extracellular matrix and skin appendages. Superficial = Papillary, Highly vascular Lax; Deep = Reticular, Less vascular Dense.
MAIN CELLS Melanocytes Keratinocytes Fibroblasts Adipocytes Macrophages
Nerves Does not contain nerves. Contains nerves that conducts nerve impulses via the central nervous system to the brain


In a living cell, the thick inner layer of the tissue is referred to as dermis. It lies beneath the epidermis which embodies blood vessels, nerve endings, hair follicles and sweat glands. The dermis furnishes extensibility, firmness, and strength to the skin thereby protecting it from infection. It aids the epidermis to acquire the oxygen and nutrients.


In a living organism, the outermost layer covering the body is referred to as epidermis. The epidermis is visible to the eye whereas the dermis is invisible as it lies in the inner part. The principal function of the epidermis is that it protects the body’s internal structures from trauma, dehydration, and infections. It also performs the functions of renewal of cells in the skin.

Key Differences

  • The term dermis and epidermis are connected with the human and animal body.
  • Dermis and epidermis both act as the protective outer layer of the body and are very important components of our body.
  • The epidermis does not contain blood vessel whereas dermis contains capillaries beneath the epidermis.
  • The epidermis does not consists of nerves whereas the dermis contains nerve impulses which pass through the brain.
  • The epidermis is nourished by diffusion from the dermis.
  • Epidermis is made of keratinocytes, melanocytes, Langerhans cells and Merkels cells.
  • The dermis is basically composed of connective tissues and contains skin appendages.

Video Explanation