Non-invasive fat reduction methods have been gaining tremendous popularity over the past few years. The most popular non-invasive fat reduction method is Cool Sculpting. CoolSculpting uses a controlled cold temperature (-11 degrees Celsius to be exact), to target and kill stubborn fat cells beneath the skins surface. Popular treatment areas include the abdomen, flanks and chin to name a few. While I am not going to go into detail about how CoolSculpting really works (you can find more information about that here), it was invented by two scientists at Harvard who found that children who sucked on popsicles for extended periods of time were developing dimples in their cheeks as a result of fat reduction in that area.
Since CoolSculpting’s technology was developed as a result of research conducted on children sucking on popsicles, some people have tried to freeze their own fat at home, rather than having a professional CoolSculpting procedure performed. So, is DIY CoolSculpting at home really a good idea? The answer is NO, and here’s why:
CoolSculpting is a very controlled procedure, while simply applying ice or cold packs to the skin is not. CoolSculpting couples the cold temperature with suction in most cases (aside from the outer thigh, which as a result takes lo
nger to treat). The suction from the vacuum applicator, along with the cold temperature, work together to target specific pockets of fat on the body. Depending on the size of the applicator used, and what body area is being treated, there are specific amounts of treatment time needed in order to induce apoptosis or fat “cell death”. Within the CoolSculpting applicator are tiny sensors that monitor the temperature of the tissue throughout the entire treatment as well to make sure that it is reaching just the right temperature. These monitors also work as a safety mechanism to ensure the tissue is not getting too cold to cause damage such as frost bite. Other factors to consider are the pre-treatment skin wipe that prepares the skin for treatment (I like to think of it as “anti-freeze” for the skin), as well as the gel pads that act as a barrier between your skin and the cooling cup and ensure adequate and consistent contact with the cooling cup during treatment.
When applying ice or cold packs to the skin you are not able to reach the temperature necessary to successfully kill fat cells. Some blogs describing how to do DIY CoolSculpting at home, recommend icing for several hours a day for weeks at a time in order to reach the temperatures necessary to induce apoptosis. Who has time to do that?! Even if you are able to do this, you risk frost bite, permanent skin and nerve damage as well as contour irregularities. The suction created by the vacuum applicator with CoolSculpting allows for the central part of the targeted area to reach the coldest temperature, resulting in the greatest amount of fat reduction centrally. This is one of the ways the appearance of a “cookie cutter” cut out in the fat or a contour irregularity is avoided.
So, unless you’d like to risk frost bite, skin and nerve damage, contour irregularities, or just a big waste of your time, leave the CoolSculpting to the pros! We offer complementary consultations and would love to help you reach your body goals! Call to schedule your consultation today!