CoolSculpting is not DIY! CoolSculpting® is the world’s most popular treatment for reducing stubborn fat without surgery. But we’ve seen several advertisements for “at home” fat freezing treatments, so we thought it would be a good idea to explain the differences.
These DIY hacks include exposing the skin to dry ice and wearing a lipo belt (a strap containing ice packs.) Furthermore, counterfeit machines or at-home devices are cheap knock-offs trying to capitalize on the success of CoolSculpting. We’ve had patients come to us for treatment after realizing these devices don’t work. While we’re sad they spent money to learn this hard lesson, we’re just glad they weren’t injured in the process! So please remember that CoolSculpting is not DIY treatment that you can do at home or without a trained professional.
How CoolSculpting Works
CoolSculpting works using a scientifically developed process called cryolipolysis (“cryo” = cold + “lipo” = fat + “lysis” = cell death.) Summed up, CoolSculpting eliminates fat cells by exposing them to precisely controlled cooling. CoolSculpting is the ONLY FDA cleared fat reduction treatment that uses controlled cooling to eliminate stubborn fat cells.
CoolSculpting applicators draw up tissue using a gentle vacuum mechanism. Suction is an important part of the fat reduction process that cannot be duplicated when attempting to do this at home. Why?
When an area of the body is exposed to cold temperatures, fat cells move away from the surface of the skin to protect themselves. However, the suction from a CoolSculpting applicator pulls the subcutaneous fat cells away from the body and secures them inside the applicator where they are chilled from multiple angles. This allows for deep penetration into the fat layer.
Precisely Controlled Cooling
CoolSculpting doesn’t actually freeze fat. It chills fat by drawing heat from the fat cells via precisely controlled cooling. Years of scientific research and development calibrate the CoolSculpting machine to chill fat cells at a very specific temperature for a very specific amount of time. Chilling fat cells in this precise manner triggers apoptosis, or cell death. This signals the body to collect and process the destroyed fat cells out of the body via the lymphatic system.
Proprietary CoolSculpting Applicators
CoolSculpting is a body contouring treatment that reduces fat and sculpts attractive contours. The CoolSculpting machine is equipped with various applicators, each uniquely designed for different areas of the body. This precision fit cannot be duplicated with ice packs or other at-home devices. The customized shape allows us to contour the treatment area.
CoolSculpting Safety Controls
The CoolSculpting machine is equipped with numerous safety measures to ensure your safety and well-being.
- The gel pad: To protect the skin from frostbite, gel pads are placed on top of the skin before the applicator is positioned onto the treatment area. This gel pad insulates the skin from thermal injury.
- Temperature sensors: Hypersensitive temperature gauges in the CoolSculpting applicator constantly monitor the temperature of the skin. If the skin’s temperature drops below the safety threshold, the machine automatically stops. The gauges also ensure that the subcutaneous fat is exposed to the correct amount of cooling to properly chill the fat cells for the therapeutic amount of time.
Why At-Home Devices Don’t Work
Nothing else can chill the fat the way CoolSculpting can:
- Ice packs or other devices cannot provide precisely controlled cooling that is necessary to chill fat to the point of apoptosis. Ice packs, for example, quickly absorb the body’s heat when placed on the body. In order to properly chill fat, the cold source must maintain the precise temperature without interruption.
- Nothing else provides the vital suction mechanism necessary to draw subcutaneous fat to the surface.
- Other devices can’t apply cooling to fat cells from above and below like CoolSculpting can by drawing tissue into the applicator.
- Ice packs will not freeze your fat, but can freeze your skin. Frostbite is a serious risk with DIY treatments.
The Dangers of At-Home Treatments:
As more CoolSculpting hacks show up on the internet, hospitals are reporting more thermal related injuries from people attempting treatments at home. The Journal of Wound Care highlighted this risk to public safety in a case study of “Full-thickness wounds resulting from ‘do-it-yourself’ cryolipolysis.” Painful images accompanied the review of a 55-year-old woman who suffered frostbite while attempting a ‘do-it-yourself’ version of cryolipolysis. The study explains the patient used a homemade ice pack in lieu of professional medical equipment, resulting in 4% total body surface area full- and partial-thickness wounds to her abdomen. The researchers concluded, “This case illustrates how online information of dubious quality can put the uneducated patient at risk of injury.”
CoolSculpting is a Technique Sensitive Treatment
CoolSculpting is a technique-sensitive procedure. This means it takes a specific skillset and ample training to perform the procedure safely and effectively. Moreover, the more experienced the technician, the more likely you will receive better results. Think about it. You wouldn’t perform most medical procedures at home, even if you had the equipment to do so. It’s the same principle with CoolSculpting.
To ensure our patients receive the best fat reduction possible, our technicians are trained at CoolSculpting University and have unparalleled experience, because it’s their focus every single day. Only a genuine CoolSculpting treatment has the research, clinical studies, technology and safety mechanisms to safely and effectively chill away stubborn fat.