The term "cutaneous" refers to the skin. Subcutaneous means beneath or under all the layers of the skin. For example, a subcutaneous cyst is under the skin.
Habif TP, ed. Principles of diagnosis and anatomy. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 1.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.