This section is from the book "Animal Physiology: The Structure And Functions Of The Human Body", by John Cleland. Also available from Amazon: Animal Physiology, the Structure and Functions of the Human Body.
The Cutis Vera, Derma, Corium, Or True Skin, has a white fibrous basis. Its surface is thrown into papillae or finger-like prominences, the largest of which are about 1/100 of an inch in length. In the papillary part, it is impossible to detect separate fibres; while in the deeper part, the white fibrous substance is arranged in interlacing bands, the spaces between which get larger as the subcutaneous tissue is approached, into which the skin gradually blends. In the deep part also, elastic fibres curl and twine in all directions, and there is a copious network of connective-issue-corpuscles with long processes. Tha superficial part is much more vascular than the deep; for close to the surface of the cutis is spread one of the richest networks of capillary blood-vessels in the body, with a loop of blood-vessel in every papilla. It is from these blood-vessels that the epidermis receives its nourishment. The epidermis is moulded to the papillary surface of the cutis ; and in the hands and soles of the feet, which have the papillae disposed in thickest rows, the trace of this arrangement is left on the surface of the cuticle, in the form of the ridges with furrows between them which characterise those parts.