CoolSculpting or Kybella for fat under the chin?

I've been wanting to get rid of some fat under my chin that's been bothering me for a long while. Even at my thinnest, I still had some left there, and it was infuriating. At first I was considering Coolsculpt, but after some research, I found out that Kybella is better suited for that area. Both could theoretically do the job, but seeing as the procedure would be done on my face, I really can't afford a mistake. What would I be getting the best result with, and on what does the choice depend, physiologically, or otherwise?


M, 37, Quebec

Tags:man age 35-44 face under chin fat

According to a 2015 survey carried out by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), 67% of men and women surveyed reported they are bothered by the fat in their chin. Fortunately, there is now a range of cosmetic procedures to treat stubborn fat in this area. Kybella and CoolSculpting both represent highly effective non-surgical double chin treatments. Both treatments can offer patients a more sculpted chin and jawline, giving the face a fresher, more youthful contour, without the need for surgical procedures such as a neck lift or liposuction.

For patients hoping for a more general reduction of chin fat, or for those with a significant double chin, CoolSculpting may be more suitable. Allergan, which manufactures CoolSculpting technology, has now released a new applicator for the chin, the CoolMini, which is designed specifically to target fat beneath the chin. Two to three treatments are usually needed, allowing at least three weeks between treatments. Patients may notice some minor swelling, but they can generally resume work and activities immediately. People with small chins may not be good candidates for CoolSculpting as it can be difficult to apply the device beneath the chin.

For patients aiming for more personalized sculpting and tightening of the chin area, Kybella may be more suitable. The treatment is injected beneath the chin into areas carefully marked out by the surgeon, with the aim of achieving a defined chin and jaw by approaching the ideal cervicomental angle (the angle between the jaw and neck) which is between 90 and 105 degrees. The treatment also stimulates collagen production so the skin appears firmer beneath the chin. On average, between two and six treatments are needed to gain an optimal outcome. Possible side effects include nerve damage or a lopsided smile, so having the procedure performed by an experienced injector is essential.

Deciding which treatment is better suited to you depends on your aesthetic goals and preferences. It is important to consult with an experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can examine your chin area and determine the most appropriate chin treatment based on the quantity of submental fat you wish to address, your budget, and feasible downtime.

Kybella and CoolSculpting both represent excellent non-invasive methods of reducing a double chin and sculpting the submental area. They differ primarily in how they are administered.

Kybella is currently the only FDA-approved injectable for reducing a double chin. It uses synthetic deoxycholic acid to destroy fat cells by breaking down the cell membrane, as the acid is administered via injections into the treatment site. Prior to treatment, the injector will mark out the injection sites then apply a topical numbing agent or ice to ease discomfort. Usually 20-30 injections are required, but as many as 50 may be used under the chin in one session. The treatment can cause moderate to severe pain that can last for six to eight hours following the procedure.

Most patients who undergo Kybella require between two and four treatments, with the treatments spaced five weeks apart, though ultimately, the number of treatments required will depend on the extent to which the patient wants to sculpt their chin. Swelling may last for up to two weeks, with most patients requiring three to five days of downtime. Over several weeks, the destroyed fat cells become cellular debris, and are then cleared into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, and, ultimately, excreted as waste. The treatment is permanent, and most Kybella patients notice a 25% reduction in their double chin over the full course of their treatment.

CoolSculpting is also permanent and targets fat cells by cryolipolysis, or freezing the fat cells. A specially designed applicator, the CoolSculpting CoolMini, is applied to the submental area, which suctions the skin and targets fat cells while leaving other cells unharmed. Treatment takes between 30-60 minutes, and patients generally note a 20-30% reduction after one treatment. The cooling sensation can be slightly uncomfortable at first, but most patients find it tolerable.

Kybella is ideal for patients with mild to moderate submental fullness, or for those seeking more customized chin contouring rather than overall fat reduction. It also helps to firm the skin beneath the chin, giving a more chiselled jawline. For those with significant fullness beneath the chin, CoolSculpting may be more cost-effective. An expert injector can help you decide which treatment is best suited to you.

Double chins bother a large proportion of the U.S. population. As the cause is frequently hereditary, diet and exercise are often ineffective at dislodging the stubborn pockets of fat that form in this area. For patients who wish to eradicate fat from beneath the chin and sculpt the submental area, non-invasive measures such as Kybella and CoolSculpting can be successful treatment options.

While both treatments are approved by the FDA, capable of producing excellent results and enjoying high satisfaction rates among patients, there are some considerations to bear in mind when deciding which treatment is better suited to you. The most important factors to consider before settling on a treatment include:

  • Neck fat distribution;
  • Neck and jawline structure;
  • Skin elasticity;
  • Feasible downtime.

Kybella is a liquid treatment which is administered via injections beneath the chin. Its active ingredient is deoxycholic acid, a bile acid which occurs naturally in the body and helps to absorb fat. Up to 50 injections may be required during one treatment, with 59% of patients requiring six treatments for optimal results. Kybella is capable of providing a personalized result, with the injections sculpting the submental area by targeting unwanted fat. This makes it ideal for patients with smaller chins, or more specific areas of chin fat they wish to target. Kybella also firms and tightens the skin beneath the chin.

Patients often require several days of downtime following treatment, due to a "bullfrog" appearance: some swelling, puffiness and bruising may appear. The treatment can also be somewhat painful, but oral pain medication can ease any discomfort. Following a clinical trial, 82.4 percent of people reported that they were satisfied with the results following Kybella.

CoolSculpting is a body contouring treatment that uses cryotherapy to eliminate fat around the chin. A non-invasive applicator is attached to the submental area, suctioning fat and delivering precise, controlled cooling to freeze fat cells while leaving other tissue untouched.

The treated area can be massaged after the procedure, and the patient can return immediately to work with no recovery time. CoolSculpting is ideal for patients with loose or mature skin as it can be easily suctioned by the applicator. Patients usually require 2-3 treatment sessions to enjoy optimal results.

In weighing up which option is best for you, rest assured that both have been clinically tested and deemed safe by the FDA. The chances of experiencing serious side effects with either treatment are very unlikely, particularly if you place yourself in the care of an experienced dermatologist or surgeon.

The 3 safe, effective options for addressing fat underneath the chin are liposuction, CoolSculpting, and Kybella. Liposuction is the most tried and true technique. It is definitive and effective in 1 procedure. It can be done under local or sedation, and depending upon how much fat there is, can be done in a controlled office procedure room or a surgical suite/surgical center. Coolsculpting is effective, but it is less definitive in that you are relying on the frozen fat to dissipate, and the degree to which that happens is variable. It requires at least 2 treatment sessions of 45 minutes, about 4-6 weeks apart. The advantage is it is nonsurgical and there is no downtime. You will have numbness there for a while. Kybella is a newer treatment that is also safe and effective. It requires multiple sessions - usually 3-5 - and there is a fair amount of swelling afterwards. So it is important to be evaluated by someone knowledgeable about the options, and skilled at the treatments.

Liposuction is the most reliable method of eliminating fat. It's best to see a qualified specialist for evaluation.