The relationship between dermal papillary structure and skin surface properties, color, and elasticity

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The skin contains an undulating structure called the dermal papillary structure between the border of the epidermis and dermis. The physiological importance of the dermal papillary structures has been discussed, however, the dermal papillary structures have never been evaluated for their contribution to skin appearance. In this study, we investigated the correlation between the dermal papillary structure and skin color and elasticity. In addition, the relationship was validated with skin model experiments.


The dermal papillary structures in the skin of the female cheek were quantitatively measured by in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy images. In addition, the skin color and elasticity were measured at the same site. A skin model with dermal papilla-like structures was created by referring to the optical and shape properties of the skin using agar gel and a scattering sheet.


Correlations were found between the dermal papillary structures and skin color irregularity and skin elasticity. These relationships were verified by the experiments employing a skin model.


The results of this study indicated that the dermal papillary structure is also an important factor for skin appearance such as color and elasticity.

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