word-forming element meaning "of or pertaining to skin," from Greek dermat-, from derma "(flayed) skin, leather," from PIE root *der- "to split, flay, peel," with derivatives referring to skin and leather. The shortened form derm- was used from mid-19c. but is considered incorrect.
before vowels heter-, word-forming element meaning "other, different," from Greek heteros "the other (of two), another, different; second; other than usual." It is a compound; the first element means "one, at one, together," from PIE root *sem- (1) "one; as one, together with;" the second is cognate with the second element in Latin al-ter, Gothic an-þar, Old English o-ðer "other."
Compounds in classical Greek show the range of the word there: Heterokretes "true Cretan," (that is, of the old stock); heteroglossos "of foreign language;" heterozelos "zealous for one side;" heterotropos "of a different sort or fashion," literally "turning the other way;" heterophron "raving," literally "of other mind."