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Subcutaneous

Beneath the skin.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

Image showing drugs entering different layers of skin (intramuscular, subcutaneous, and transdermal) Click to enlarge

Different methods of delivering drugs through the skin National Institutes of Health

Terms to know

Arteries
A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body.
Dermis
The inner layer of the two main layers of the skin. The dermis has connective tissue, blood vessels, oil and sweat glands, nerves, hair follicles, and other structures. It is made up of a thin upper layer called the papillary dermis, and a thick lower layer called the reticular dermis.
Epidermis
The outer layer of the two main layers of the skin.
Hair Follicle
The hair follicle is a tube-shaped sheath that surrounds the part of the hair that is under the skin and nourishes the hair.
Hair Shaft
The segment of the hair that projects above the skin surface.
Intramuscular (IM)
Within or into muscle. Also called IM.
Intramuscular Injection
Injection into muscle.
Keratin
Keratin is the key structural material making up the outer layer of human skin. It is also the key structural component of hair and nails.
Lymphatic Vessels
A thin tube that carries lymph (lymphatic fluid) and white blood cells through the lymphatic system. Also called lymph vessel.
Nerves
A bundle of fibers that receives and sends messages between the body and the brain. The messages are sent by chemical and electrical changes in the cells that make up the nerves.
Papillary Dermis
The thin top layer of the dermis (the inner layer of the skin). The papillary dermis has connective tissue and blood vessels that give nutrients to the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and that help control the temperature of the skin.
Percutaneous
Passing through the skin, as an injection or a topical medicine.
Reticular Dermis
The thick bottom layer of the dermis (the inner layer of the skin). The reticular dermis has blood vessels and connective tissue that supports the skin. Hair follicles, oil and sweat glands, and other structures are also found in the reticular dermis.
Sebaceous Glands (Oil Glands)
Small glands located within the epidermis, and associated with the hair follicle, that produce and secrete an oily substance that lubricates the skin and hair.
Skin
The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment.
Subcutaneous Injection
Putting a fluid into the tissue under the skin with a needle and syringe.
Sweat Glands
The small coiled tubes in the skin that produce and secrete sweat.
Tissue
A group of cells that act together to carry out a specific function in the body. Examples include muscle tissue, nervous system tissue (including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves), and connective tissue (including ligaments, tendons, bones, and fat). Organs are made up of tissues.
Transdermal
Absorbed through the unbroken skin.
Veins
Blood vessels that carry blood to the heart.

Terms to know

Arteries
A blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to tissues and organs in the body....
Dermis
The inner layer of the two main layers of the skin. The dermis has connective tissue, blood vessels, oil and...
Epidermis
The outer layer of the two main layers of the skin....
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