The scalp is the composite soft tissue structure that covers the calvaria.


Superiorly: Superior nuchal line.

Laterally: Superior temporal line and continous with the fascia over temporalis muscle.

Anteriorly: Attached to the upper part of orbicularis oculi and the overlying skin of the eyebrow.




Skin: Thick, hairy and rich in sweat glands.
Connective tissue:
Dense, irregular and highly vascular.
Aponeurosis: Unites frontalis and occipitalis muscles.
Loose areolar tissue:Potential space.
Pericranium:Attaches to suture lines.


Blood supply


External carotid branches:

  1. Superficial temporal artery.
  2. Posterior auricular artery.
  3. Occipital artery.

Internal carotid branches:

  1. supraorbital artery
  2. Supratrochlear artery, both from the opthalmic artery.


  • These branches anastomose freely with each other threfore scalp wounds bleed profusely but heal rapidly when cut.

  • The arterial walls are attached to the dense connective tissue of the second layer of the scalp and tend to be held open and bleed profusely when cut.

The veins run back with the arteries.
  • The supraorbital and supratrochlear veins drain into the facial vein
  • The superficial temporal vein drains into the retromandibular vein.
  • Occipital veins drain into the vertebral veins.
  • The posterior auricular vein drains into the external jugular vein.

The veins connect with intracranial sinuses through emissary veins



The scalp receives sensory innervation from:

  • Supratrochlear Nn (1)
  • Supraorbital Nn (2)
  • Zygomaticotemporal Nn (3)
  • Auriculotemporal Nn (4)
  • Lesser occipital Nn (C2,C3) (5)
  • Greater occipital Nn (C2) (6)
  • Third occipital Nn (C3) (7)

Facial nerve supplies occipito-frontalis muscle


Lymph drainage

Lymphatic channels from the posterior half of the scalp drain to occipital and posterior auricular nodes

Lymphatic channels from anterior half drain to the parotid nodes.

The lymph eventually reaches the submandibular and deep cervical nodes .



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