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Cutis vs. Dermis: What's the Difference?

By Janet White || Updated on November 29, 2023
Cutis is the combined term for the two primary layers of the skin (epidermis and dermis), while the dermis is the thick layer beneath the epidermis.

Key Differences

Cutis refers to the skin's entirety, encompassing both the outer epidermis and the deeper dermis. Dermis is specifically the thick, resilient layer beneath the epidermis.
The cutis serves as the body's protective covering and includes all skin functions. The dermis houses structures like sweat glands, hair follicles, and nerves.
Cutis involves aspects of both visible outer skin and underlying structures. The dermis provides strength and elasticity to the skin.
In medical terminology, 'cutis' refers to skin-related conditions affecting all layers. Dermis-focused conditions relate to deeper skin layers, impacting toughness and connectivity.
Cutis is a general term for skin, while the dermis has more specific roles, including temperature regulation and sensation.

Comparison Chart


Combined term for epidermis and dermis
Thick layer beneath the epidermis


Overall skin protection and function
Houses structures like glands, follicles, nerves


General skin-related aspects
Provides strength, elasticity, and depth to the skin

Medical Relevance

Refers to conditions affecting all layers
Focuses on deeper layer conditions


Broad term for skin
Specific to the inner layer of skin

Cutis and Dermis Definitions


The combined layers of skin, including epidermis and dermis.
The cutis protects against external harm.


The thick, inner layer of the skin beneath the epidermis.
The dermis contains blood vessels and nerves.


The protective outer organ of the body.
The cutis is sensitive to sunlight.


Contains connective tissue and matrix.
The dermis is vital for wound healing.


The complete integumentary system.
Aging affects the elasticity of the cutis.


Layer housing hair follicles and sweat glands.
The dermis plays a key role in temperature regulation.


The skin, with all its associated structures and functions.
The cutis has remarkable self-healing properties.


Supports the epidermis and facilitates sensation.
The nerve endings in the dermis detect touch.


The entire covering of the body’s surface.
The cutis varies in thickness across the body.


The skin layer responsible for strength and elasticity.
Collagen in the dermis keeps skin firm.


See dermis.


The sensitive connective tissue layer of the skin located below the epidermis, containing nerve endings, sweat and sebaceous glands, and blood and lymph vessels. Also called corium, cutis, derma1.


(anatomy) The true skin or dermis, underlying the epidermis.


(anatomy) The tissue of the skin underlying the epidermis.


See Dermis.


The deep sensitive layer of the skin beneath the scarfskin or epidermis; - called also true skin, derm, derma, corium, cutis, and enderon. See Skin, and Illust. in Appendix.


A natural protective covering of the body; site of the sense of touch;
Your skin is the largest organ of your body


The deep vascular inner layer of the skin


What structures are found in the dermis?

Blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, and sweat glands.

Is the cutis the same as the skin?

Yes, it refers to the skin in its entirety.

What is the function of the dermis?

It provides skin strength, elasticity, and houses skin appendages.

Does aging affect the cutis?

Yes, it can lead to changes in elasticity and texture.

What is the role of cutis in protection?

It acts as a barrier against environmental damage.

What is cutis?

The combined layers of skin, including the epidermis and dermis.

Does cutis include the outermost skin layer?

Yes, it includes both the epidermis and dermis.

Can the cutis be damaged by the sun?

Yes, UV radiation can damage both epidermis and dermis.

Is the dermis involved in sensation?

Yes, it contains nerve endings that detect sensations.

Is the cutis sensitive to touch?

Yes, especially the epidermal layer.

Can the dermis repair itself?

Yes, it has self-healing and regenerative capabilities.

Is the cutis the same in all mammals?

The basic structure is similar, but thickness and composition vary.

What gives the dermis its elasticity?

Collagen and elastin fibers contribute to its elasticity.

Can diseases affect the cutis?

Yes, diseases can affect the skin’s health and appearance.

How deep is the dermis?

It's the thick layer beneath the outer epidermis.

How does the dermis affect skin aging?

Aging in the dermis can lead to wrinkles and sagging.

How does the dermis aid in wound healing?

It contains cells and structures essential for repair and healing.

Does the dermis contain collagen?

Yes, collagen in the dermis provides firmness and strength.

Does cutis vary in thickness?

Yes, thickness varies across different body parts.

Does the dermis play a role in temperature control?

Yes, through blood flow and sweat glands.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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