Coolsculpting is a treatment for reducing fat cells using extremely cold temperatures. It chills the skin, causing the fats below the skin to naturally die off. It is low-risk and a completely safe and effective procedure.
Knowing that Coolsculpting uses intense temperature, you might be thinking that there should definitely be some side effects – including pain, swelling, or even frostbite. Coolsculpting doesn’t have any long-lasting side effects, but it does have some minor and extremely rare side effects that are possible to happen.
During the treatment
For the procedure, a device that looks the same to a vacuum cleaner nozzle is used. As a gel pad and applicator is applied to the targeted area, the device then administers a suction and cooling technology. This will cause some feelings of minimal pain of pulling and pinching during the treatment
After Treatment Side Effects
Aching and Stinging
It was found that during and right after the treatment, patients feel the same common side effects of pain and stinging. These may be caused by the extreme cold temperatures the skin and tissues are exposed to. Despite this, it is reported that the pain is tolerable. These side effects can last for up to 2 weeks after the coolsculpting procedure.
Redness, Swelling, Tingling, and Slight Bruising
These are the common temporary side effects most patients experience right after treatment, but these usually all go away within a few days. These are all caused by exposure to intense cold temperature. Coolsculpting affects the skin in a similar way as frostbite but just targeting the fats right below the skin. Despite that, this treatment is safe and won’t give you frostbite.
These side effects are temporary, and can last anywhere between one day to a few weeks. These also won’t affect your daily activities.
Extreme & Rare Side Effects
Discoloration of the skin
This side effect is called the Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH). The coolsculpting procedure is done by chilling fat cells to just above freezing temperature. If a skin is too sensitive, pigmentation can occur after 3 to 6 weeks and can last for a few months. This side effect rarely happens and it typically goes away on its own.
Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia (PAH)
It was found that out of 4 million procedures done, only 0.0051% has experienced this, or about only 200 cases of PAH have been recorded. Paradoxical Hyperplasia makes the area larger and firmer, which basically results in the opposite of the desired result. This effect shows 2 to 5 months after the treatment.
Can Coolsculpting cause frostbite?
Coolsculpting may affect the skin in the same manner as frostbites, but this doesn’t mean it can give you frostbite. The devices used have advanced technology and numerous sensors which will control and keep the machine at a safe temperature. Also, the temperature it uses doesn’t kill off the fat cells immediately, it is just enough to trigger the natural process of cell death.
Despite all of these side effects, among millions of procedures, these patients agree that the temporary side effects are all worth it for their fat-loss results. Coolsculpting doesn’t limit their patients’ activity, which allows them to continue their everyday activities such as household chores, work, and even exercise.
Don’t get worried about it damaging or harming your skin cells and muscle tissues. Coolsculpting simply freezes and massages the unwanted fat cells.
It is also important to trust only the officially certified and experienced experts to lessen the possibility of side effects.
Some remedies for Coolsculpting side effects
One of the side effects a patient may feel is a mild pain. Your doctor will prescribe painkillers such as Ibuprofen or Paracetamol to lessen the pain. For bruising, a patient may require some light bandages just for a short-term cover up. While for any redness or numbness, ointments may be used just to ease the discomfort.
How to reduce Coolsculpting risks?
Risks from Coolsculpting are very rare and short-lived. Just as mentioned earlier, PAH or Paradoxical Hyperplasia is a rare side effect that has only affected 0.0051% out of 4 million patients. This side effect can simply be treated by subsequent Coolsculpting treatment – or for persistent PAH, laser treatment or liposuction may be required.
Trying on DIY Coolsculpting methods have higher risks compared to having the treatment from certified doctors, dermatologist, and other Coolsculpting experts. DIY methods are usually just store-bought applicators, while the technology used by the experts are professional-grade applicators. Besides the advanced technology used by experts, they’re well trained to avoid common side effects.
How safe is Coolsculpting?
CoolSculpting is FDA-approved, making it one of the safest and most effective non-surgical fat reduction treatment. As a non-invasive procedure, it doesn’t require the patient to get under the knife, which may cause unsightly scars, and there’s no anesthesia and no medications that may cause allergies or addiction. Out of millions of procedures done, there are no debilitating effects and life-threatening cases reported.
The extreme case of side effect one can get from Coolsculpting is Paradoxical Hyperplasia, which only affected 0.0051% of millions of patients. This can be easily corrected by Coolsculpting, laser treatment, or liposuction if necessary.
To make it safer, avoid DIY CoolSculpting treatment. Instead, trust the work to the professionally trained doctors, dermatologists, and other experts. Besides their broad knowledge about CoolSculpting, the equipment, devices, and techniques used are FDA approved.
Tips for Before and After Coolsculpting Treatment
For a lesser risk and much safer CoolSculpting treatment, here are some tips to help ensure your journey goes as smooth as it should be!
- Find out if you’re a good candidate
It is always best to speak first to your provider to identify whether you’re a good candidate – this is also the reason why you should first be consulted personally. Coolsculpting is a really an effective non-invasive, FDA approved, fat eliminating treatment. But, there are still certain factors to consider to see whether Coolsculpting will be of good fit to you, depending on your current state.
- Ideal Weight
Coolsculpting is not a weight loss procedure, but rather helps sculpt your body by permanently removing fat cells. It is best to be near your ideal weight before having your body undergo treatment since you’ll be seeing faster results. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have this treatment while you’re still far from your body goals and are still losing weight – the treatment will still be very effective.
- Enough pliable fat
There are three sizes of applicator that are usually used. The key is to have the targeted area treated with the right size so it would fit better. You should have enough pliable fat to be suctioned by the Coolsculpting device so it would be more effective.
- Know the procedure and details
Take in details such as how many treatments you’ll be needing and what results to expect. They should also explain the process to you in detail and make all things clear. Make sure you know who the doctor or dermatologist is. A non-invasive treatment like this should be done by an experienced and trained expert.
Prepare for pain in advance, just in case
Although roughly 10% of the patients feel pain after the procedure, it is still best to act ahead. It is recommended to have a painkiller, such as Ibuprofen, on hand and take it every 8 hours. Get this medicine even before the procedure, so you won’t run out of it, just in case you feel pain during your recovery period.
- Be patient
Since you’ll be lying down or sitting the whole time, be sure to bring something to keep you entertained. Bring a book, a tablet, laptop, or maybe your phone will do. Equip yourself with something to do and keep you occupied during the treatment.
- Pay attention to your body
After your Coolsculpting treatment, be sure to keep watch of your body. Notice any redness, swelling, tingling or pain. If you feel something isn’t right, be sure to contact your provider so they can help.
Patients who have their abdomen treated with Coolsculpting usually feel mild pain, numbness, and tingling. As for areas such as back, thighs, and love handles, commonly they feel little to no side effects at all.
- Know that long-term results depend on you
Coolsculpting can’t stop your body from gaining weight and thus, can’t stop new fat cells from forming in the treated areas. This is why it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle even after the treatment. Be sure to have a balanced diet and do some regular exercises for a fast and improved Coolsculpting results.