Hypodermis - Skin''s Layer

The hypodermis is the deepest layer of skin. Lying below the epidermis and dermis, it accounts for approximately 15% of the thickness of the skin. Sometimes called the subcutis or subcutaneous tissue, it holds fat and blood vessels. The hypodermis serves two major purposes.

  • Provide insulation for the body
  • Store important nutrient
  • Many people view fat as something that must be eliminated. But fat cells serve a purpose. It is the fat cells that insulate the body from temperature changes, helping to keep body temperature steady. Fat serves another purpose we never think about. It is a shock absorber.


    The hypodermis actually gets very little attention, because it cannot be seen and is not exposed to the elements. The hypodermis gets unfavorable attention when skin cancer goes below the top two skin layers. But it is an important skin layer in that our skin elasticity is dependent on the fibers in this layer. The hypodermis has the following features.

  • Contains the loose connective tissue, also referred to as elastin or fibrous bands
  • Stores fat cells
  • Contains sudiferous glands which secrete sebum
  • Blood vessels run through it
  • Hair follicles run through it
  • Contains nerves and nerve endings
  • The hypodermis skin level is everywhere on the body except for a few areas. It is not on the eyelids or under the eyes, shins and several very personal areas such as the penis and nipples. The absence of the hypodermis skin under the eyes contributes to the dark circles under the eyes. Blood vessels are closer to the surface of the skin creating a bluish tint.

    The hypodermis is a busy skin layer! Blood vessels, hair follicles, nerves and lymph vessels cross through the hypodermis. But the elastin fibers in the hypodermis are usually the focus of cosmetics and surgeries. Loss of elasticity in the skin is why skin sags. The connective tissue connects all the layers of the skin.

    In The Spotlight

    Loss of elasticity in the skin is part of the aging process. Collagen collapses coupled with the connective fiber sagging makes wrinkles, folds and bags. Collagen is a protein in connective tissue. The focus of cosmetic procedures is to 1) plump up the collagen to restore the roundness under the skin, and 2) keep all pores clean to allow for proper natural gland secretions. When pores are clogged, upper layer skin problems can occur. These include acne, and in extreme cases, cysts. Collagen, or fat, lies deep within the skin layers. Soft tissue fillers are injected where the dermis and hypodermis meet. Botox injections used to erase wrinkles go even deeper. Botox is injected into the muscles underlying the hypodermis. Injections in the subcutaneous tissue are painless and highly effective. A final cosmetic surgery affecting the hypodermis is the removal of hair follicles for permanent elimination of unwanted hair. The body is made up of systems - circulatory, digestive and so on. The skin layers form their own system of hydration. Moisture and oil from within rises through the skin layers beginning with the hypodermis. The health of any physical system requires adherence to good nutrition, exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep. The skin is no different. The skin is always in the spotlight so you should make sure it is always ready for the next performance.

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