Just a couple months ago, we told you about Kybella—a new injectable that can minimize the appearance of a double chin with just a couple of treatments. It’s since been gaining popularity. And now, there’s another option available: CoolSculpting. The FDA recently expanded its approval of the treatment for smaller areas on the body, like the spot under your chin (previously it was only approved for spots like your stomach and thighs), with a new applicator called CoolMini.
Now the question is, how do the two stack up to each other? We reached out to three experts on the topic: Los Angeles Dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban, Los Angeles plastic surgeon Grant Stevens, M.D., and national spokesman for the American Society of Plastic Surgery, New York plastic surgeon Barry Weintraub, M.D., to find out. (For the record, we’re not saying you have to run out and try either; you’re beautiful as is! But if you are curious about noninvasive treatments, we’re here to give you the facts.)
How they work:
You can get a full rundown on Kybella here, but here’s the CliffsNotes version: It’s an FDA-approved injection containing a naturally occurring molecule that dissolves fat, which your body then flushes out. Essentially it “bursts fat cells with medication,” says Dr. Shamban. The best candidate is someone with good skin and a very distinct appearance of fat under the chin.
CoolMini is a new FDA-approved attachment for Coolsculpting—a procedure that freezes fat cells away. (More specifically: It creates ice crystals in fat cells, which ultimately destroys them.) One session takes roughly an hour and can freeze up to 1/3 of the fat from under your chin. Dr. Stevens says it’s a particularly great treatment for those who dislike injections: “There are no needles involved, and there’s no downtime.” The treatment works best for women with looser, more mature skin. “With the CoolMini, the affected area needs to be sucked up into the hand piece while it’s being chilled,” says Dr. Shamban. “There may be a limitation with a younger neck because the skin too taut.”
Final results for both procedures typically appear within one to two months.
The side effects:
Whichever route you go, Dr. Shamban says expect to some swelling in your neck. Soreness too. With Kybella, there’s also a chance the area will feel numb for up to a month and will be red for a few days. There could be numbness and redness with the CoolMini as well, but it disappears a little sooner. Another possible (but rare) side effect of CoolMini? “The applicator might not cover enough of the desired area, and it’s difficult to taper off the sides, so theoretically you might have a shelf effect,” says Dr. Shamban. Meaning, you could get an indentation where the fat was killed off, but the surrounding fat will remain.
The more affordable option really comes down to the number of sessions needed. Kybella typically requires a series of three treatments (each four to six weeks apart), which costs around $5,400 in total. CoolMini costs about $1,000 per treatment. “Most people need one or two CoolMini treatments, depending on the amount of fat under the chin,” says Dr. Weintraub.
Bottom line: If you’re interested in either treatment, your best bet is to talk to your doctor to discuss which is right for you.
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