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Epidermal Ridges

Epidermal Ridges

Cristae cutis

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Quick Facts

The epidermal ridges are the inward projections of the epidermis into the dermis at the dermal-epidermal junction, as seen histologically in vertical sections (Dorland, 2011).

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The epidermis has many downward projections into the dermis, known as epidermal ridges. Likewise, the dermis has alternated upward projections between the epidermal ridges, the dermal papillae.

Below the epidermal ridges lies the dermoepidermal junction. This is an acellular zone between the dermis and the epidermis. The adhesion of the epidermis to the dermis is maintained at this junction by the interaction of hemidesmosome junctions and keratin filaments of the epidermis, and collagen and anchoring fibrils of the dermis (Baroni et al., 2012).


This organization of epidermal ridges and dermal papillae at the dermoepidermal border increases the surface area of contact between the dermis and epidermis, thus strengthening the connection.


Baroni, A., Buommino, E., De Gregorio, V., Ruocco, E., Ruocco, V. and Wolf, R. (2012) 'Structure and function of the epidermis related to barrier properties', Clin Dermatol, 30(3), pp. 257-62.

Dorland, W. (2011) Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd edn. Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier Saunders.

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