One of the most common appearance concerns that bring patients into medical aesthetics clinics is the presence of a double chin. This innocuous condition isn’t painful, but can make you appear heavy, tired, and older than you really are.
Surprisingly, “double chin” isn’t limited to patients who are morbidly obese, or even those who are overweight. Gaining and losing weight rapidly, genetic predispositions, and even certain health conditions can raise your risk for developing a double chin, as can the shape of your face and condition of facial muscles.
Kybella, a new fat-zapping injectable treatment, supports our clinic in helping patients remove pesky fat deposits under the chin without surgical intervention.
WHAT IS KYBELLA?
Kybella is the only FDA-approved injectable fat-destroying treatment on the market. It allows us to achieve results similar to liposuction. It effectively treats persistent undesired fat deposits, usually under the chin in as little as two to four treatments.
Although Kybella is used most often in the treatment of double chins, some treatment providers also use it to treat fat deposits in other zones, like the neck or cheeks. These off-label treatments aren’t approved for every patient, and are utilized on a highly individual basis only after extensive consultation.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Kybella contains a synthetic version of a substance your body uses to trigger fat reabsorption every day. This chemical, called deoxycholic acid, or DOC for short, works by destroying and destabilizing localized fat cells. It triggers your body to reabsorb and/or remove the cells, flushing them away and reducing submental fullness for a slimmer, more streamlined appearance.
A single Kybella treatment may include up to 50 injections depending on the size and scope of your submental fullness. While this may sound like a lot, each injection takes only a few seconds to complete. The entire treatment session culminates in just under an hour for nearly all patients.
Kybella often requires multiple sessions in order to see full effects. Most patients see results in two to three sessions; in rare instances, you may require up to six treatments to achieve your goals.
ARE KYBELLA TREATMENTS PAINFUL?
Skilled medical professionals deliver Kybella treatments directly into the skin and tissue with excessive fullness with an extremely fine needle. Most patients feel only a slight burning or tingling sensation during the injection process. You shouldn’t feel extreme discomfort or intolerable pain during your treatment.
Some patients do experience increased injection site discomfort directly after the procedure or in the weeks afterward. This is normal, and usually means your body has initiated a mild inflammatory response to the presence of DOC. This mild, low-grade inflammation is exactly what triggers the body to remove fat cells.
After-treatment pain is transient and usually resolves quickly. Applying cold gel packs or using simple over-the-counter painkillers may help. Extreme pain with or after Kybella is extremely rare. It is most likely associated with autoimmune reactions like allergies or certain skin conditions. If you currently suffer from allergies that require the use of an epipen during crisis events, tell your treatment provider before you have Kybella injected.
SHOULD YOU TRY IT?
Kybella is approved for treating submental fullness in a broad range of patients. As long as you are over the age of 21, under the age of 65, and reasonably healthy, you should be a good candidate for treatment. Our candidates tell us:
Clients who use Kybella come from all different walks of life, professions, and lifestyles, and may include doctors, teachers, actors, public speakers, politicians, and stay-at-home moms. Many of the patients we see have busy lives; Kybella’s low demand for recovery time means it is easier to fit into a busy life.
WHO SHOULD NOT TRY IT?
Kybella is safe and effective when used correctly. However, like any other prescription medication, some patients should not use Kybella. Tell your treatment provider if you are pregnant, if you have a bleeding disorder, if you are struggling with a skin infection, or if you are allergic to DOC.
Certain autoimmune and endocrine conditions may make treatment with Kybella more risky. If you are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, psoriasis, MCS, EDS, dysphagia, Diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, or liver disease, let your treatment provider know before you begin. We may need to adjust Kybella treatments to give your body more time to recover, or we may recommend a different approach instead.
For similar reasons, you should tell your treatment provider if you are taking immune-modulating drugs, blood thinners, Aspirin, warfarin, antivirals, or any other drug that can thin the blood. The biggest risk from using Kybella in combination with these drugs was increased bruising; taking drugs does not necessarily preclude you from treatment.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
For most patients, results from Kybella injections are semi-permanent or fully permanent. Some exceptions to these outcomes may exist when patients gain or lose a dramatic amount of weight after treatment.
For patients who see a return of submental fullness, occasional maintenance sessions may be required every few years. Kybella’s results are much easier to maintain than they are to initiate, meaning that once you’ve had treatment, you’ll require injections less and less often.
WHY IS KYBELLA SO FANTASTIC?
Kybella is much less invasive than stereotypical plastic surgery interventions like liposuction or plastic surgery. There is no cutting, no manual removal of tissue, and very little recovery time (usually just a few days) required after treatment completes. It is safe, reliable, evidence-backed, and proven to work when used correctly by a skilled medical professional.
Some submental fat is normal; in fact, nearly all women over the age of 45 experience it to varying degrees. The presence of a double chin just happens to be one of the most common manifestations of age and/or weight gain. If you’re struggling with your appearance, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Reach out to your skin care professional and find out whether Kybella is right for you.