The story of CoolSculpting is a pretty wild story involving two doctors, some frozen goodies and a phenomenon called "popsicle panniculitis." Can you see where we are going? Basically, the medical field realized that there was a bizarre correlation between people eating frozen popsicles – which you may be aware that your mouth gets cold as they slowly melt – and a reduction in fat in the cheeks.
Two doctors named Dr. Rox Anderson and Dr. Dieter Manstein, who was interested and sensed a real possibility, tried to investigate the relationship between the application of cold temperatures on the body and subsequent fat loss. It took some trial and error, but they could eventually determine the exact temperature that maximized said fat loss without damage any other tissue and voila – "cool sculpting" or "CoolSculpting" was born.
In 2010, the FDA gave its stamp of approval to CoolSculpting, and since then, many people have been able to effectively target unwanted, stubborn fat in a non-invasive way.
How does CoolSculpting work exactly?
The CoolSculpting technology is actually quite simple. A small to medium range is directed to the CoolSculpting unit, which freezes the fat in the said area.
“Grease freezes at a higher temperature than the overlying skin, so while the fat is frozen during CoolSculpting, the skin is safe. Of the frozen fat, up to 25% of fat cells in that treatment area die from freezing, [which results in roughly a 25% reduction of overall fat in the targeted area]. This is called cryolipolysis, which literally means destruction of the fat cell by freezing, ”explains Dr. Melinda Haws, a board-certified plastic surgeon based and contributor to RealSelf. "After the CoolSculpting treatment, the body then works to get rid of the destroyed cells – just as they do when your body has some damaged cells, such as a bruise."
How long does it take to see CoolSculpting results?
In the same way, it takes time for a bruise to heal, it takes time for your body to get rid of the dead fat cells. “Clinical data shows that CoolSculpting results occur within about 12 weeks. However, some people will notice changes in as little as four weeks, says Marisa Martino, esthetician and founder of NYC's Skinney MedSpa. As mentioned, many patients see a reduction of about 25% of their fat in the targeted area after a treatment. After the 12 weeks have passed, some patients choose to have a second round of CoolSculpting for even more fat reduction.
What areas does CoolSculpting treat?
CoolSculpting is FDA approved for some parts of the body. These include the fat pocket under the chin (double chin), upper arms, upper and lower abdomen, back fat (sometimes called bra fat), hips (saddle bags), flanks (love handle), thighs and the curve under your butt (banana roll).
Who is the best candidate for CoolSculpting?
As you can see from the list of treatable areas, CoolSculpting is intended to treat very stubborn, small to medium fat pockets. In that sense, it is really intended to sculpt your body, according to the treatment name, and will not help with weight loss.
CoolSculpting results after six weeks:
“In most cases we can fix it if you can pin it! Anyone who has squeezed fat – about an inch worth – and is within 30 pounds of his ideal weight is an ideal candidate for CoolSculpting, "Dr. Jessica Wright, founder of Rejuvenate Austin. She adds, "We do not treat patients who are overweight 30 pounds and we do not use Coolsculpting to tighten the skin. Tightening the skin can be a nice side effect, but when a patient exhibits mostly skin mucus, they may need surgery instead.
In some cases, CoolSculpting can be approved for patients who are overweight by 50 or more who want to reduce friction in their inner thighs and lower abdomen, Martino says. However, it is important to remember that this is more about relieving discomfort from the friction and will not help with weight loss.
How does a CoolSculpting treatment feel?
Once you've had a consultation and been approved as a candidate for CoolSculpting, let the games – ahem, the chilly treatment – begin.
“At the time of treatment, the patient is placed comfortably in a recliner or table and the CoolSculpting applicator is applied to the target area for fat. The skin and fat in that area are then sucked up between two metal plates and the temperature drops. It is initially pulling, squeezing and maybe discomfort, but it stops when the area has cooled. The freezing also assesses, says Dr. Haws. “The patient can then read or watch TV for the next 35 minutes. When the applicator is removed, the area feels stiff and frozen like a stick of frozen butter. The Coolsculpting technician will then massage out the fixed area and then move the applicator to the new location. "
Note that many plants have multiple machines and that they usually use several at the same time to reduce how long you are treated. At the end of the treatment, the treated area will become cold (obvi) and be red and maybe a little swollen. But you can go your day as usual, including exercise.
Over the next few weeks you will probably feel numbness in the area and you will even feel a deep, itchy feeling. You should massage the area three times a day during the weeks that follow to help break down the dead fat and help it move from the body more effectively. After four weeks have passed, you probably do not feel anything anymore and it will be time for your follow-up consultation to check on progress.
Results after two treatments of CoolSculpting:
SculpSure vs. CoolSculpting: What's the difference?
While CoolSculpting freezes fat to destroy fat cells, SculpSure takes exactly the opposite approach by applying heat to the area. Like CoolSculpting, SculpSure is non-invasive, non-surgical and FDA approved to target and reduce stubborn fat. An applicator is applied to the targeted area and lasers emit heat (usually for 25 minutes), causing fat cell death. As with CoolSculpting, it also takes about 12 weeks to see the full results from SculpSure.
Aside from their heat versus cold approach, both CoolSculpting and SculpSure are quite similar in terms of ideal candidate, cost and overall results. If you are trying to decide between CoolSculpting versus SculpSure, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, SculpSure is undoubtedly more uncomfortable as the skin warms up. With CoolSculpting, the discomfort usually subsides after five minutes as the treated area becomes dumb.
Another thing to keep in mind is that SculpSure was FDA approved in 2016 and that it has not been around as long as CoolSculpting, which was FDA approved in 2010. For some, a longer history of successful treatments gives greater peace of mind. Finally, SculpSure can only treat two areas of the body at this point (flanks and abdomen) while CoolSculpting can treat all areas we described above.
How much does CoolSculpting cost?
The cost of CoolSculpting varies depending on the facility, but you can expect to pay about $ 750 per applicator per treatment. This means that if you treat a double chin, you pay about $ 750, and if you treat your forearms you will pay $ 1500 because you need two applicators (one for each arm).
Larger areas, including the abdomen and flanks, sometimes require multiple applicators to achieve a smooth, effective result. For example, you can probably expect to pay $ 3,000 – the cost of four applicators – to treat the abdomen. Many facilities offer a reduced rate if you treat multiple areas or if you come in for a second round of treatments.
Conclusion: CoolSculpting has proven to be a proven, non-invasive, non-surgical technique that targets stubborn fat. It is not intended for weight loss, but as its name indicates, it can shape your body effectively.
Would you like to try CoolSculpting? Let us know in the comments below.