Superficial fascia

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Superficial fascia
Latin fascia superficialis
Gray's p.377
Anatomical terminology

Superficial fascia is the lowermost layer of the skin in nearly all of the regions of the body, that blends with the reticular dermis layer.[1] It is present on the face, over the upper portion of the sternocleidomastoid, at the nape of the neck, and overlying the breastbone.[2] It consists mainly of loose areolar, and fatty adipose connective tissue and is the layer that primarily determines the shape of a body. In addition to its subcutaneous presence, superficial fascia surrounds organs and glands, neurovascular bundles, and is found at many other locations where it fills otherwise unoccupied space. It serves as a storage medium of fat and water; as a passageway for lymph, nerve and blood vessels; and as a protective padding to cushion and insulate.[3]

Superficial fascia is present, but does not contain fat, in the eyelid, ear, scrotum, penis and clitoris.[4]

Fascial dynamics[edit]

Due to its viscoelastic properties, superficial fascia can stretch to accommodate the deposition of adipose that accompanies both ordinary and prenatal weight gain. After pregnancy and weight loss, the superficial fascia slowly reverts to its original level of tension.


  1. ^ Skandalakis, John E.; Skandalakis, P.N.; Skandalakis, L.J.; Skandalakis, J. (2002). Surgical Anatomy and Technique, 2nd Ed. Atlanta, GA: Springer. pp. 1–2. ISBN 0-387-98752-5. 
  2. ^ Paoletti, Serge (2006). The Fasciae: Anatomy, Dysfunction & Treatment. Seattle, WA: Eastland Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-939616-53-X. 
  3. ^ Hedley, Gil (2005). The Integral Anatomy Series Vol. 1: Skin and Superficial fascia. 
  4. ^ Norman Eizenberg, General Anatomy:Principles and Applications (2008), p 70.