What is subcutaneous tissue?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

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.


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.
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.

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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.