What is subcutaneous tissue?

Daniel Kapp
Daniel Kapp on behalf of MDLIVE
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Subcutaneous tissue is the layer of tissue that is directly beneath the skin.  It may vary from very minimal, such as in areas of the eyelids, or as a thick layer as in the fat padding around the abdomen and waist.  It is the subcutaneous tissue, or fat plane around the waist and abdomen, that is treated with surgical procedures such as abdominoplasty and liposuction.  Most fillers are injected into the subcutaneous tissue and not directly within the dermis.

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery
The subcutaneous tissue layer can be found directly beneath the skin.  The thickness will vary depending on the area of the face or body. During my liposuction procedure, the fatty tissue (comprising) the 2 layers of subcutaneous tissue are suctioned. There is a superficial layer of fat in the abdomen (campers fascia) and a deeper layer called (scarpas fascia). The subcutaneous tissue layer is found above the deeper muscle of the abdomen, chest, and extremities.
This is the layer between the outer skin and the inner muscle tissue. It consists of fat cells and does have blood vessels and nerves passing through it. It helps insulate the body from cold and provides cushion for the deep tissues from blunt trauma. It can also serve as a reserve source of fuel for the body.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The subcutaneous tissue is the innermost layer of skin. It is primarily made up of fat that helps insulate your body. The fat also acts a bit like a shock absorber to cushion precious inside organs from the outside world. This is the layer that thins as we age.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

More About this Book

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

The deepest layer of the skin is the subcutaneous tissue. Mostly comprised of fat and hair follicles, the subcutaneous tissue acts as a cushion to protect everything beneath it.


Continue Learning about Healthy Skin

Eat Sweet Potatoes for Wrinkle-Free Skin
Eat Sweet Potatoes for Wrinkle-Free Skin
No one wants to be a potato face. Unless you're talking about sweet potatoes. Turns out that the beta carotene in sweet potatoes helps combat rough, ...
Read More
What keeps my skin and hair naturally healthy?
Audrey Kunin, MDAudrey Kunin, MD
An imperceptible thin viscous fluid, the acid mantle, maintains and protects the overall health of s...
More Answers
6 Foods Your Skin Will Love
6 Foods Your Skin Will Love6 Foods Your Skin Will Love6 Foods Your Skin Will Love6 Foods Your Skin Will Love
Fill your plate with nutrient-rich foods for younger-looking, glowing skin.
Start Slideshow
Tips to Manage Your Child's Eczema
Tips to Manage Your Child's Eczema

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.