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CoolSculpting at Home, Does it Work?

Despite working diligently to maintain a healthy diet and engage in daily exercise, stubborn fat deposits commonly remain in areas like the upper arms, chin, abdomen, flanks or love handles, inner and outer thighs, and bra fat. These unwanted bulges of body fat can negatively affect one’s self esteem and confidence, and may strongly impact your decision to wear your favorite top or swim suit. In the past, the only available fat removal method was liposuction, which is an invasive surgical procedure that can be painful, risky, and requires a lot of downtime. Thankfully, there is a revolutionary non-invasive procedure called CoolSculpting that has the ability to reduce fat cells without surgery. Since its FDA approval in 2010, CoolSculpting has become the most popular non-invasive fat removal procedure for body contouring.

If you are struggling with deposits of stubborn body fat, it is worth considering investing in body contouring with CoolSculpting. Having your fat removal treatment in a medical spa setting or relying on DIY CoolSculpting methods may be inexpensive, but these approaches are also dangerous. Not only do these often lead to poor cosmetic results, but at home fat freezing can also produce damaging side effects that are often irreversible. Rather than attempting risky at home fat freezing devices, schedule a consultation with a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist, like Dr. Green.

Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned cosmetic dermatologist with over 25 years of experience as a leader in the field, including non-invasive fat reduction treatments. Dr. Green was one of the first providers in New York City to introduce CoolSculpting in her discreet Upper East Side office and has helped thousands of patients, both men and women, achieve their body contouring goals for over 27 years. For her evidence-based approach and emphasis on safety and efficacy, she is consistently voted as one of New York’s best physicians by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors. When you consult with Dr. Green, she will work with you to develop a safe and effective customized body contouring treatment approach that helps you look and feel like your absolute best self.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is an innovative body sculpting tool from ZELTIQ Aesthetics, now acquired by Allergan. CoolSculpting was FDA-approved in 2010 as a non-invasive fat reduction procedure that permanently eliminates stubborn fat cells using cryolipolysis or “fat freezing.” It uses patented cooling technology to deliver controlled cooling to only the fat cells, ensuring no harm occurs to the skin or surrounding tissue. It is approved by the FDA to treat nine different areas of the body, which include the abdomen, flanks (love handles), banana roll (between the buttocks and outer thigh), inner thighs, outer thighs, bra fat, upper arms, back, and the submental area (double chin). CoolSculpting is unique in that it is non-invasive and requires little to no downtime, making it an excellent alternative to plastic surgery and liposuction. CoolSculpting is not a weight loss treatment but it is a fat loss treatment. This means that you will lose inches, not pounds, from CoolSculpting treatments.

IMAGE46 35 44 year old man treated with coolsculpting MGwatermark

How does fat freezing such as CoolSculpting work?

CoolSculpting utilizes cryolipolysis technology to remove up to 25% of fat cells in the treated area. Cryolipolysis is based on the understanding that fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than other cells, such as the skin cells. Therefore, the CoolSculpting machine works at a very precise temperature to only affect the fat cells in the targeted area without affecting the skin or surrounding tissue. CoolSculpting applicators, with the exception of the CoolSmooth applicator, uses a vacuum to “pull” the fat to the surface to ensure the cryolipolysis process is effective. Unwanted fat cells in the treatment area are frozen and broken down, and the dead cells are gradually metabolized and excreted through the lymphatic system.

Can DIY CoolSculpting be done at home?

Please do not try CoolSculpting at home! DIY CoolSculpting usually refers to using ice cubes, cold gel packs, machines, or fat freezing products that claim to be as effective at fat reduction as CoolSculpting. On the contrary, the actual CoolSculpting procedure is performed by licensed medical professionals in dermatology or plastic surgery offices and MedSpas using an FDA-approved CoolSculpting equipment produced by ZELTIQ. CoolSculpting machines use specific applicators that deliver controlled cooling to fat cells without affecting the skin or surrounding tissue. You cannot control the temperature precisely using an ice pack or a belt. In addition, the CoolSculpting machine “pulls” fat to the surface using a vacuum, ensuring that the cryolipolysis process works effectively. An ice pack or belt cannot do this.

Attempting CoolSculpting at home is not only ineffective, but it can also be dangerous. The cold temperatures from ice packs will likely not reach the subcutaneous fat, so it will not be effective in eliminating fat cells. Furthermore, placing ice or frozen items directly against the skin for a prolonged period of time can cause frostbite and tissue damage that requires extensive medical treatments to remedy. For these reasons, CoolSculpting should only be performed by an experienced, licensed medical professional in a controlled environment with an FDA-approved CoolSculpting machine.

Do at home CoolSculpting machines work?

No, at home fat freezing machines are not safe or effective for fat removal. Although there are various machines available for purchase online that claim to utilize fat freezing technology for “DIY CoolSculpting”, none of these devices have FDA-approval nor have they been proven to genuinely work for fat reduction. The disclaimer information provided for these at home fat freezing machines often indicates that they have not been evaluated for their safety and efficacy by the FDA. Unfortunately, DIY CoolSculpting for fat removal is a concept that actually is too good to be true.

Using at home CoolSculpting machines can be dangerous and cause permanent damage to your body. Since cryolipolysis is an irreversible treatment, it is crucial to have your body contouring procedure performed by a trained and experienced medical professional. Instead of wasting time and money investing in an at home fat freezing machine that is extremely risky and does not really work for fat reduction, schedule a consultation with a non-invasive body contouring expert who can help you safely achieve your goals, such as Dr. Michele Green in New York City. Dr. Green is consistently recognized as one of New York’s best physicians by Super Doctors, New York Magazine, and Castle Connolly, and will work with you to customize your body contouring treatment plan so that you can look and feel like the best version of yourself.

What is the best at home CoolSculpting machine?

There is not an at home fat freezing machine that is safe, effective, or recommended for use. Additionally, there are no at home fat freezing machines that have been approved by the FDA. The at home fat freezing machines on the market do not utilize the same technology that ZELTIQ’s FDA-approved CoolSculpting machine does, which makes the in-office procedure safe and effective for fat removal. This includes the CoolSculpting vacuum applicator, specially designed to deliver controlled cooling to the fat cells in the treated area without damaging the skin or surrounding tissue. There are a number of additional safety procedures in place for the in-office CoolSculpting procedure limit any potential risks, which does not apply to any at home fat freezing machines. Rather than risk encountering dangerous side effects and poor cosmetic results with an unsafe and ineffective at home fat freezing machine, schedule a CoolSculpting consultation with body contouring expert and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green in NYC.

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Can I do CoolSculpting at home with ice packs?

Attempting CoolSculpting at home using ice packs is not only ineffective, but can also be potentially dangerous. First, ice packs are not able to maintain the controlled cooling temperature to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, of fat cells. Ice begins to melt as soon as it comes in contact with the warm skin, so it is impossible to maintain the consistent cold temperatures to freeze fat. Second, while ice packs are not cold enough to freeze subcutaneous fat, it is cold enough to freeze the skin. Therefore, using ice packs in lieu of CoolSculpting can result in frostbite that requires extensive medical intervention. Third, the CoolSculpting applicators utilize suction that is essential in inducing cryolipolysis. When fat cells contact cold temperatures, its natural response is to move deeper into the body for warmth, away from the skin’s surface. The vacuum suction of the CoolSculpting applicator ensures that the fat cells remain superficial so the ideal cooling temperatures reach the subcutaneous fat and freeze them. The risks associated with DIY CoolSculpting using ice packs, along with its inefficacy, do not outweigh the benefit of potentially saving money. In fact, you may end up spending more money in medical bills if you get frostbite, scarring, or tissue damage.

Does CoolSculpting at home work?

No. CoolSculpting at home does not work and can potentially be dangerous. CoolSculpting at home typically refers to using ice packs, ice cubes, or machines to replicate cryolipolysis that the FDA-approved CoolSculpting machine utilizes to remove unwanted fat. Using ice packs and ice cubes in an attempt to freeze subcutaneous fat will not result in cryolipolysis, but holds a high risk of causing frostbite or tissue damage. Ice is not cold enough to reach the fat cells in the deeper layers of the skin, but it is cold enough to damage the superficial skin cells. Furthermore, “fat freezing” devices available online do not have adequate clinical studies that prove its efficacy and safety and can cause permanent damage that may require extensive medical intervention. Lastly, a skilled and trained practitioner is an essential component of CoolSculpting to ensure that the treatment works as it should and the risk of side effects are minimized, since it is important to place the CoolSculpting machine in strategic places on the body for the best body contouring results.

How much does CoolSculpting cost?

The cost of CoolSculpting depends on various factors, including the number of areas being treated, how many applicators are needed, the experience and expertise of the trained provider, and geographical location. For example, treating the abdomen, flanks, and arms will be more costly than only treating the upper arms. CoolSculpting treatments at MedSpas will likely cost less than at a dermatology or plastic surgery office; however, data shows that the risk of side effects are significantly lower when cosmetic treatments are performed by an experienced, board-certified physician. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, CoolSculpting costs range from $1000 to $4000. You should not let the price of CoolSculpting scare you into trying it at home, as at home fat freezing treatments can lead to permanent damage that requires extensive medical treatments and hefty hospital bills.

How to do CoolSculpting at home

The cryolipolysis technique that is carefully and meticulously carried out by the CoolSculpting machine and trained provider cannot be replicated at home. It is highly advised to avoid attempting CoolSculpting at home, as there are high risks of side effects such as frostbite and tissue damage. CoolSculpting should be performed using the FDA-approved CoolSculpting machine with a trained medical professional in a controlled environment such as dermatology and plastic surgery offices. Because the results of CoolSculpting is permanent, a trained medical professional is necessary to ensure the applicators are applied correctly on specific areas and you have the best body contouring results.

What are the risks of at home CoolSculpting treatments?

Lately there has been a lot of online talk, videos, forums, discussions, news, blogs, etc. about DIY fat freezing techniques that can be done at home, saving men and women money on professional cosmetic procedure costs. Fat freezing devices such as “lipo-belts” have also gained in popularity. A lipo-belt is a device that is fitted with cold packs that have been chilled in the freezer and then applied to the body in an attempt to induce cryolipolysis to reduce fat cells. The idea is that they work in the same way a CoolSculpting machine works. However, it should be noted that currently there is no medical evidence that these devices are effective or safe, and because they are not classified as medical devices, there is no requirement for FDA approval.

Another popular internet claim is that it is possible to kill fat cells using an ice pack applied to the stomach area. This is not the case. At best, you will get a cold stomach and at worst, it is possible to burn your skin. These rumors about shortcuts to fat freezing exist because you may have read that the way CoolSculpting works is based on its ability to reduce fat cells by “freezing” them. This is an overly simplified explanation as to how the treatment works, commonly used to help explain to patients in broad terms what the process involves.

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What are the risks of CoolSculpting?

The benefit of CoolSculpting is that it is easy, quick, safe, and effective, and there are minimal risks associated with cryolipolysis. Common side effects during CoolSculpting include pulling, tugging, pinching, numbness or discomfort. Post-treatment, some patients experience mild bruising and minor numbing or tingling sensations for up to eight weeks after the treatment, which is normal and temporary. You may experience redness, swelling, firmness, and soreness in the treatment area as well, also normal and temporary. However, many people do not experience any side effects at all. There is an extremely rare side effect of paradoxical adipose hyperplasia that has been observed. In all cases, Dr. Green will help advise you on how CoolSculpting can work for you, whereas a DIY method relies on untrustworthy sources and can result in some unknown issues.

What are the advantages of CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting treatments, carried out by Dr. Green in her New York City practice, work meticulously to provide controlled cooling to the subcutaneous fat cells to induce cryolipolysis or fat freezing. At your CoolSculpting appointment, the treatment areas will be carefully assessed and marked. The treatment area is then prepped and a gel pad is applied to protect the skin. The applicator is carefully applied and stabilized, then you can read a book, watch a movie, continue working, or take a nap. The treatment cycles take 35 to 75 minutes to carry out depending on the applicator, and multiple treatment areas can be performed in one visit. There is no downtime with CoolSculpting, so you can resume daily activities such as working and exercising to your comfort. Results may be seen three to four months after the treatment, and the process can be repeated in one to four months depending on the area being treated.

How can I get started with CoolSculpting today?

Body fat is necessary for our general health and wellness, as it contributes to body temperature regulation, provides cushion and protection to important organs, and much more. However, stubborn fat deposits clump together in certain areas of the body that can negatively impact one’s confidence and self-esteem. Despite diet and exercise, these fat bulges remain and many people look toward cosmetic procedures to feel confident in their bodies again. Thankfully, there is a noninvasive, nonsurgical fat reduction option called CoolSculpting that can help you achieve your body sculpting goals without pain and downtime.

When researching CoolSculpting treatment options, many patients will consider a MedSpa for their treatment, but it’s important to know exactly who you will be working with when it comes to your personalized CoolSculpting treatment. A med spa may have flashy testimonials or offer a free consultation to entice new patients, but oftentimes these consultations are not supervised or performed by an experienced medical professional. Studies show that the risk of unwanted side effects are significantly reduced when cosmetic procedures are performed by an experienced, board-certified physician like Dr. Green. Patients will also consider at home CoolSculpting options found on the internet in an attempt to save money, but as we discussed above, there are high risks associated with attempting cryolipolysis at home. It is best to rely on a skilled and experienced medical professional like Dr. Green to ensure safety and efficacy.

If you are frustrated by stubborn fat deposits despite working diligently to maintain a healthy diet and exercise, don’t worry, Dr. Green is here to help. Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned, board-certified dermatologist with over 25 years of experience in noninvasive fat reduction, dermal fillers and Botox, anti-aging and skin rejuvenation, cellulite, skincare, and cosmetic lasers. Dr. Green was one of the first dermatologists to incorporate CoolSculpting into her private Upper East Side practice since its FDA approval in 2010. Since then, she has helped thousands of patients, both men and women, achieve their body contouring goals for over a decade. Her dedication to her patients is reflected by consistently winning best dermatologist in New York City by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors. If you are looking for a way to reduce fat safely and effectively, there’s finally a nonsurgical solution that can help. To learn more about CoolSculpting in NYC, contact us online today or call 212-535-3088.

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