Subcutaneous Fat

What is Subcutaneous Fat? Subcutaneous fat, also known as the hypodermis, is the last layer of skin that lies between the dermis and the underlying fascia. It consists of adipocytes, fibrous tissue, and blood vessels. It comprises 9-18% and 14-20% of the normal body weight of men and women, respectively.

Functions of Subcutaneous Fat:

  • Insulation of the body from the cold.
  • Acts as a cushion and absorbs the shock from blunt trauma.
  • Reserve source of energy for the body.
  • Storage of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Biological activity associated with hormonal messaging.

Evidence shows that adipocytes can revert to stem cells, which then may differentiate into other tissues types.

While subcutaneous fat has many functions and is a vital part of the body, they are able to increase in size and number, as seen in obesity.

Source: Vejjabhinanta V, & Obagi S, & Singh A, & Baumann L (2009). Fat and the subcutaneous layer. Baumann L, & Saghari S, & Weisberg E(Eds.), Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice, 2e. McGraw Hill.