What Is Subcutaneous Tissue?

The subcutaneous tissue (also known as the deep fascia, superficial fascia or tela subcutanea) is an important armor that protects muscles, bones and organs from shock. It also helps regulate body temperature.


US demonstrates subcutaneous edema as hyperechoic fat lobules, with blurring of the normal definition of connective septa due to fluid accumulation and distension of lymphatics.


The subcutaneous layer contains a large percentage of fat, which allows it to act as the body’s natural insulator. This insulation regulates the body’s temperature and keeps it warm, especially in cold environments. It also prot 송도피부과 ects internal organs and absorbs shocks from physical activity. The body can convert the fat in this layer into energy to meet its energy needs.

The fat in the subcutaneous layer also acts as a cushioning agent, protecting bones and muscles from injury. In addition, the subcutaneous layer provides an energy reserve for the body to use in case of emergency. It also helps the body regulate blood flow, preventing the blood from pooling in one part of the body and pushing it to other areas where there is a greater need for blood.

The subcutaneous tissue is a network of fat cells, collagen-rich connective tissue, and blood vessels. In some parts of the body, like the abdominal area, this layer can be up to 3 centimeters deep. In other parts of the body, it can be as thin as 1 millimeter.

Blood Flow

Like the armor a medieval knight would wear to protect his body from arrows and swords, the subcutaneous tissue acts as an extra cushion between the skin and the underlying muscle and bones. It insulates the body from cold, r 송도피부과 egulates body temperature and absorbs shock and damage from sudden injuries. It also stores fat, houses blood vessels and nerves, and provides structural support for the skin.

The subcutaneous layer consists of fat cells, collagen-rich connective tissue and a network of septa and fat lobules. The thickness of this layer varies over the body. The abdominal area has more fat, while the arms and hands have less. The subcutaneous layer is thickest in children, while it thins with age and in people who are not overweight.

When someone is injured, the blood vessels in the subcutaneous layer enlarge to transport more blood into the area and cool it down. This helps prevent third and fourth degree burns, pressure ulcers (also known as bedsores), and abscesses.

When an infection causes a subcutaneous abscess, US can demonstrate fluid-filled, hypoanechoic lobules separated by rigid connective septa that contain echogenic debris and pus. These changes may resemble a tendon gap on physical examination. US can also demonstrate the presence of a draining sinus in these conditions. The subcutaneous tissue is a good site for the administration of drugs, such as insulin, which are quickly absorbed from this route.

Storage of Fat

Similar to the armor that medieval knights wore to protect themselves from arrows and swords, your subcutaneous tissue serves as a layer of padding to prevent bone fractures and internal injuries. It also helps to regulate body temperature and store fat.

The fat in your subcutaneous tissue is stored in fatty lobules (or septa) that vary in size and shape from area to area of the body. Some septa are very thin and barely visible under the skin, while others may be more compact and dense. In general, your subcutaneous fat is much thicker around the stomach and buttocks than in your arms or legs.

While storing excess fat in your subcutaneous tissue can have benefits, too much of the fat in this layer can be unhealthy. Excessive fat increases your risk of developing metabolic diseases, including insulin resistance, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension. A diet rich in sugary foods, processed and fried foods, saturated and trans fats and salt can increase your subcutaneous fat.

Genes determine where and how much fat is stored in the body, but a healthy diet, exercise and stress therapies can help you lose extra fatty deposits. Women tend to accumulate a greater amount of fat in the hips and buttocks, while men build up a larger percentage of fat in the abdomen and shoulders, which is called visceral fat.

Absorption of Medications

Injection of drugs into the subcutaneous tissue is a very common way to administer medications because it is easy and inexpensive. It is also effective for drugs that are not absorbed well when given orally, such as vaccines, growth hormones and insulin, because the stomach acid destroys them. These drugs need to be injected into the fatty layer of the subcutaneous tissue and diffused slowly at a constant rate. The absorption process can be influenced by physicochemical factors such as molecular size and electrostatic charge and physiological ones such as blood, lymph and tissue hydration.

When a drug is injected at the site of the subcutaneous tissue with low functional capillary density, it diffuses at a slower rate than when injected at a site with high FCD. This causes the drug solution to arrive at the injection site more slowly in the horizontal direction, resulting in a greater amount of the drug being left in the subcutaneous tissue than in the muscle tissue (Fig. 1b).

Improper injection of pharmaceuticals can cause side effects such as bruising and haematoma. One of the main factors that influences these side effects is the injection speed. Slow injection probably results in less bruising and pain than fast injection. When a drug is injected at a high speed, it spreads laterally into the tissue planes in an elliptical manner (Fig. 2a). The drug solvent is concentrated in a more central area of the depot which causes more local side effects when it is left in the subcutaneous tissue.