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  5. Understanding The Role Of The Hypodermis Layer Of Your Skin

Have you ever bumped into something but didn’t feel too much pain? That’s because of the hypodermis layer of your skin.

The fat cells in the deepest layer of your skin [1] protects your internal organs by absorbing shock caused by any injury.

Read on to know the different functions of the hypodermis layer of your skin.

What Is The Hypodermis?

Skin is divided into three layers - epidermis, dermis, and the hypodermis. The hypodermis is the deepest layer of your skin, also known as subcutaneous fascia. The term subcutaneous is in Latin and hypoderm in Greek, both of which means ‘beneath the skin’. The layer sits above the deep fascia (dense connective tissue that can surround individual muscles).

It consists of blood vessels, sensory neurons, some hair follicles, and fat cells. The hypodermis lies directly beneath the dermis layer and connects the skin with the underlying bones and muscles. It absorbs any injury-causing trauma or shock from reaching to your muscles, bones, or other internal organs. Besides, it stores fat that acts as your energy reserve. It also helps to regulate your body temperature.

What Are The Functions Of The Hypodermis?

1. Stores Fat

The adipose tissue present in the hypodermis layer of the skin stores fat and reserves energy.

2. Safeguards Your Body From Mechanical Injuries

The fat cells present in the hypodermis protect the body from getting hurt. It acts as a shock absorber for the internal organs of the body. [2]

leather sectional layer subcutaneous fat cellulite

Note :

Although the periodic storage of fat has helped the human race to sustain unpredictable bouts of famine, today it has become a chronic problem. Instant access to high calorie food, sluggish lifestyle, and less physical activities has led to different lifestyle diseases including obesity.

3. Connects Skin To The Bones And Muscles

The hypodermis helps attach the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin with the underlying bones and muscles. It also supports the skin layer with nerves and blood vessels.

4. Regulates Body Temperature

The hypodermis functions as an insulator. It protects the body from cold and heat. It helps the body to cool down through sweating when the external temperature is high.

5. Responsible For Hormone Production

The adipose tissue in the hypodermis layer produces a leptin hormone [3], that is known to regulate your body’s energy balance. It prevents you from overeating by sending signals to your brain.

Did You Know?

People with obesity tend to have higher concentrations of leptin in their body as compared to people with normal weights. This is because the percentage of body fat is higher among obesed people.

How Does The Hypodermis Protect Your Body?

1. The hypodermis protects your body in many ways. It is made up of adipose tissue or fat cells and connective tissue. The dermis or the middle layer of your skin folds and bulges into the hypodermis. These areas have tiny cavities that are filled with fat and water. These fat layers act as shock absorbers for your body. It protects the underlying bones from mechanical injuries.

2. This skin layer also protects your body from heat and cold by acting as an insulator. The fat cells in the hypodermis produce hormones like leptin that regulates your energy balance. Hypodermis also stimulates the essential vitamin D when you are exposed to sunlight. [4]

Although the hypodermis is deep-seated within your skin, you can notice its impact on your skin as you age. As the volume of facial fat lowers down with age, there is less tissue to support and hold your skin's natural elasticity, leading to sagging.

What Is The Structure Of The Hypodermis?

The hypodermis is the deepest layer of the skin. It is made of subcutaneous fat composed of adipose cells and is surrounded by connective tissue, nerves, and blood vessels. [5] The number of adipose cells varies with the area of the body. The size of the adipose cells varies too and depends on the nutrition of the person.

The adipose cells group together to form lobules. These lobules are separated by connective tissue. The hypodermis also contains macrophage cells, which are part of your immune system. These cells keep the body safe from foreign intruders. The thickness of the hypodermis layers varies in different parts of the body. It also varies from person to person. For example, it’s thicker in the shoulder and abdomen in men, while in women, the hypodermis is thickest in the buttocks, thighs, and hips.

Other components of the hypodermis include:

Blood vessels, fibrous bands that hold the skin to the deep fascia, collagen, and elastin fibers that connect the subcutaneous tissue to the dermis are also part of the hypodermis. The subcutaneous tissue connects the dermis with the nervous system. It also consists of bursae, which helps the smooth movement of the skin over joints. There are also hair follicle roots that are embedded in the hypodermis.

Do Females Have A Thicker Hypodermis Than Males?

The thickness of the hypodermis varies with gender. The hypodermis of women is almost twice as thick as that in men. [6] Also, in men, the fat content is more around the visceral or abdominal region, whereas, in women, the fat content is more in the gluteal-femoral region.

Wrapping Up

The hypodermis is not just the fat-containing layer of your skin. It has many more roles to play. It helps regulate your body temperature and works as the first barrier to foreign bodies, thus keeping your body safe.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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