Subcutaneous tissue

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Subcutaneous tissue
The distribution of the bloodvessels in the skin of the sole of the foot. (Subcutaneous tissue is labeled at bottom left.)
Cross-section of all skin layers. (Subcutis labeled at bottom right.)
Latin tela subcutanea
Dorlands/Elsevier t_03/12792614

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

The subcutaneous tissue or subcutis is the layer of tissue directly underlying the cutis. It is mainly composed of adipose tissue. Its physiological function includes insulation and storage of nutrients.


Subcutaneous injections are given by injecting a fluid or a solid pellet into the subcutis. It is used to administer a variety of medical treatments. Subcutaneous injections of fluid are used to administer vaccines and medications. A pellet may be injected to deliver long-lasting doses of medication such as goserelin. Subcutaneous injections provide slow and constant absorption and are one of the parenteral routes of administration.

See also

  • Radio-frequency identification (RFID) - implantable devices
  • Skin