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The bulk of the dermal mass is made up of collagen fibrils. With increaseing depth, the density of the fibres increases. Collagen fibres are the key determinants of the tensile strength of skin; their deficiency is highlighted by diseases such as Ehler's-Danlos syndrome. A small percentage of the dermis consists of elastic fibres functioning to return deformed skin back to its original state. Disorder of these produces pseduoxanthoma elasticum and cutis laxa.
The connective tissue is supported by a matrix primarily of hyaluronic acid and dermatan sulphate. This adds elasticity to the area and provides a means of transit for solubilized nutrients.