Frostbite Has Its Benefits
Who knew that the weird condition of “popsicle panniculitis” would lead to a cosmetic revolution? Let me explain. When I was in my dermatology residency we had a kid brought to clinic with a pink firm area on his cheek. Turns out that he had left a popsicle in his mouth a little too long and literally froze his fat. The good news is that it all healed up perfectly. The take home lesson was that fat freezes easily and skin does not. The little fellow did not get frost bite (which kills skin with severe cold exposure) he just got a temporary chill.
Given this information and a brilliant mind like Harvard’s Rox Anderson the idea of non invasive fat destruction was born. If fat is gently chilled to just above freezing and kept at that temperature for an hour some of the fat cells are killed but the skin and other structures are left unharmed. After much study, testing and evaluation the FDA approved the first fat freezing instrument for the non invasive reduction of fat : Coolsculpting by Zeltiq.
Coolsculpting is indeed very cool. Think: giant suction cup that sucks in that roll of fat (muffin top, tummy roll, back fat, love handle etc…), then the fat is cooled. After about 8 minutes there is very little sensation and you can kick back, grab your ipad and watch Netflix for an hour. That’s it. The suction is released, the roll of fat feels cold but warms up quickly with some tingling and you are on your way. The area does stay numb in some for a week or two, some describe the feeling in the area as “jiggly”. Over the next few weeks the killed fat cells are slowly absorbed and the final result is as much as 25% reduction in the fat layer.
Can you do it again, most definitely, and the results improve. And it is truly non invasive, by non invasive I mean no needles, no incisions, no invasion whatsoever.
Of the patients that I have treated, none had pain, all enjoyed the hour break from their busy day and all went back to work. They are now anxiously awaiting the results that appear over the next few weeks. It is such an easy treatment that we will be demonstrating it live at our next open house on April 9, 2011. Maybe I will see you there! What have you got to lose?