Wednesday, January 2

Dermis - Papillary layer of dermis

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In dermis, papillary layer lies superficial to the reticular layer. Papillary region lying below the epidermis is closely connecting with it.
It is made up of finger-like (nipple-like) projections, extending into the epidermis. This type of structure strengthens the bond between the skin layers by greatly increasing the surface contact area between these regions.

Papillary region is composed of areolar tissue, the most common type of 'loose connective tissue'. This layer is approximately 300-400 ┬Ám deep. It is much thinner when compared to reticular region. Though it is strong enough to bind the skin, it is soft enough to give cushioning and flexibility. It exhibits significant empty space with loosely organised fibers which are interlacing.

Papillary region is dispersed with abundant blood capillaries. Epidermis is avascular (lacking blood vessels). The vasculature of this region supports the epidermis with the supply of nutrients and oxygen for the epidermal cell growth as well as with removal of metabolic wastes. With the unique arrangement for increasing or decreasing the blood flow, thermo-regulatory function of conserving or dissipating body heat is performed by this papillary structure.

The friction ridges (fingerprints) in the palms and fingers and also in the soles and toes are due to the papillary ridges. Apart from giving us grasp, these ridges, with their pattern being controlled genetically, are unique to individuals and provide fingerprints for identity.

Meissner's corpuscles (touch receptors) present in this region in sensitive areas make skin sensitive to touch. One of the important role of papillary layer of dermis is in formation hair, its growth and cycling.
Image source:
Author: Kilbad
License: public domain

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