fascia (făshˈēə) [key], fibrous tissue network located between the skin and the underlying structure of muscle and bone. Fascia is composed of two layers, a superficial layer and a deep layer. Superficial fascia is attached to the skin and is composed of connective tissue containing varying quantities of fat. It is especially dense in the scalp, the back of the neck, and the palms of the hands, where it serves to anchor the skin firmly to underlying tissues. In other areas of the body it is loose and the skin may be moved freely back and forth. Deep fascia underlies the superficial layers, to which it is loosely joined by fibrous strands. It is thin but strong and densely packed, and serves to cover the muscles and to partition them into groups.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.