The subcutaneous ( lat. Subcutis , dt. Subcutaneous ; and subdermis , hypodermis , Tela subcutanea or subcutaneous tissue ) is the lower layer of the skin . It is mostly a matter of loose connective tissue that connects the upper layers of the skin (together called cutis ) with the underlying structures ( periosteum and fascia ) via partitions ( retinacula , septa ) . Adipose tissue lies between the connective tissue septa . The subcutis is primarily to be seen as a shifting layer.
The subcutis is traversed by the blood vessels and nerves supplying the skin . Skin appendages such as hair roots and glands , which are actually components of the dermis , can protrude into the subcutis. The Vater Pacini corpuscles (or simply Pacini corpuscles ) are mainly located in the subcutis of the palms and soles of the feet. Smooth muscle cells are found in the scrotum , labia majora, and nipples .
Subcutaneous fatty tissue
The fatty tissue of the subcutaneous tissue serves as a heat insulator and energy store ( depot fat ). Distribution and extent are gender and diet dependent. As building fat in the area of the soles of the feet, it helps to absorb the body weight while walking and to distribute the pressure evenly.
The fat layer can be several inches thick. In some parts of the body the amount of fat can become quite large, which can lead to cosmetic "problem areas" ( stomach , buttocks , hips , thighs ). The liposuction is one of the most frequently performed worldwide cosmetic surgery .
In men, fat is stored in large quantities, especially in the abdominal area, but not as subcutaneous fat , but mainly as visceral fat . In women, subcutaneous fat is predominantly stored, especially around the buttocks and hips. The size and shape of the buttocks in humans is primarily determined by the amount of subcutaneous fat. Likewise, the size of the female breast is essentially determined by the amount of subcutaneous adipose tissue and not by the size of the mammary gland body.
The subcutis reacts to various types of damage, such as enzymes , inflammation , thermal or mechanical injuries, with the destruction of the affected fat cells , releasing fatty acids , which in themselves represent an inflammatory stimulus. This can eventually lead to lipogranulomatosis and sclerosis , which clinically manifests as panniculitis .
- TH Schiebler (Ed.): Anatomie. 9th, completely revised edition. Springer, 2005, ISBN 3-540-21966-8 .