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mucocutaneous boundary

Wednesday 22 March 2017


Definition: A mucocutaneous zone, or mucocutaneous boundary, is a region of the body in which mucosa transitions to skin. Mucocutaneous zones occur in animals, at the body orifices.

In humans, mucocutaneous zones are found at the lips , nostrils , conjunctivae , urethra , vagina (in females), foreskin (in males), and anus.

At a mucocutaneous junction, epithelium transitions to epidermis, lamina propria transitions to dermis, and smooth muscle transitions to skeletal muscle.

A mucocutaneous zone is often the site of an arterial anastomosis, a watershed area of venous and lymphatic drainage, and sensory (but not motor) nerve overlap.

Winkelmann (1959) reported the mucocutaneous boundary is a "specific erogenous zone with rete ridges where the nerve endings rise closer to the surface".