Superficial fascia

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

Superficial fascia is found in the subcutis in virtually all regions of the body, blending with the reticular layer of the dermis.[1] It is present on the face, over the upper portion of the sternocleidomastoid, at the nape of the neck, and overlying the sternum.[2] It is mainly loose areolar connective tissue and adipose and is the layer that primarily determines the shape of a body. The superficial fascia joins with the Fascia of Scarpa to form the superficial fascial system. In addition to its subcutaneous presence, this type of 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 eyelids, 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.