DIY CoolSculpting: Does it Work and is it Safe?
With more than 5 million procedures performed worldwide, most people have heard of the revolutionary fat reduction treatment known as CoolSculpting. Summed up, CoolSculpting eliminates fat by exposing stubborn bulges to precisely controlled cooling.
As CoolSculpting before and after pictures and raving CoolSculpting reviews saturate the internet, a disturbing trend is finding traction as it rides on the coat tails of CoolSculpting success. This disturbing trend is DIY CoolSculpting – the concept that CoolSculpting at home (using ice packs) can produce the same fat eliminating effects at a fraction of the typical CoolSculpting cost.
But is the actual CoolSculpting treatment so simplistic that it can be mimicked at home with ice pack hacks? And most importantly, is DIY CoolSculpting safe? Read on to find out.
The Science Behind CoolSculpting
CoolSculpting is the ONLY FDA cleared fat reduction treatment that uses cold temperatures to eliminate stubborn fat. CoolSculpting reduces fat using a mechanism known as Cryolipolysis. This mechanism destroys fat cells, without harming surrounding skin or tissue. The CoolSculpting machine triggers the cryolipolysis mechanism by drawing underlying fat up to the skin’s surface and exposing that bulge to precisely timed and precisely controlled cooling. While CoolSculpting’s concept may sound simple, the process is anything but. Harvard scientists dedicated years of research and clinical trials to develop the technology necessary to safely and effectively employ cryolipolysis.
The Rise of DIY CoolSculpting
It is understandable why individuals who struggle with stubborn fat may seek a cheap, at home fix, rather than seeking out a genuine CoolSculpting specialist. Even though CoolSculpting prices cost far less than liposuction and other non-invasive fat reduction treatments like SculpSure, CoolSculpting cost can still be quite an investment for some people. Moreover, because the procedure seems simple, some people question why they can not reduce their fat by exposing their bulges to freezing cold with ice packs or dry ice belts at home.
But, like the simple minded ice pack hacks, the reasons to NOT fall victim to the misconceptions that perpetuate DIY CoolSculpting are also simple: CoolSculpting at home does not work and DIY CoolSculpting is not safe.
WHY DIY COOLSCULPTING DOES NOT WORK
Many people who wrongly believe in the efficacy of DIY CoolSculpting misunderstand how the real CoolSculpting treatments work. CoolSculpting does not actually freeze fat. It chills fat cells to the point of apoptosis (signaled cell death that triggers the lymphatic system to collect and process the disabled fat cells out of the body) for a 25%¹ reduction in fat from the treatment area.
In order to trigger apoptosis of fat cells, the cells must be chilled, not frozen, to a very specific degree (between 39 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit) for a very specific allotment of time.
WHY ICE PACKS CANT “FREEZE FAT” Effectively
Ice packs cannot supply a consistent cold source or a precisely controlled temperature. Once applied to the skin, the body quickly warms the ice pack and consistent cold cannot be achieved. In comparison, the CoolSculpting machine is equipped with sensitive temperature gauges that ensure the cold source remains consistent and that the surface of the skin remains at a safe temperature to prevent frostbite.
DIY COOLSCULPTING DOES NOT TARGET FAT
CoolSculpting does more than expose stubborn fat bulges to controlled cooling. The CoolSculpting applicator draws underlying fat to the surface using a gentle vacuum mechanism. This suction is critical to the cryolipolysis process. The suction holds the fat within the applicator so the fat cells cannot retreat towards the body and away from the cold source as most fat cells do when exposed to cold via an ice pack. Furthermore, suctioning a fat bulge into an applicator exposes those fat cells to cooling from many angles. Ice packs can only be laid on top of the skin. Because there is no suction to draw subcutaneous fat cells to the surface, these ice packs inadvertently miss the intended fat cells and end up freezing skin cells instead.
DIY COOLSCULPTING IS DANGEROUS
More important than the fact that DIY CoolSculpting does not work is that CoolSculpting at home is NOT safe. DIY CoolSculpting has led to numerous cases of thermal injury (frostbite.) The genuine CoolSculpting procedure has undergone numerous clinical trials and extensive development to ensure patient safety. This includes extensive training for any specialist who operates the CoolSculpting machine as well as built in mechanisms that automatically turn the CoolSculpting machine off when sensors detect unsafe skin temperatures. The genuine CoolSculpting treatment also incorporates a protective gel pad that is placed between the skin and applicator to prevent frostbite.
DIY CoolSculpting will not freeze your fat but it will freeze your skin
As more and more cases of self-inflicted frostbite from DIY CoolSculpting manifest in Emergency Rooms across the country, medical authorities admonish physicians to better educate their communities about the dangers of performing advanced medical procedures by themselves, at home, under the direction of some misguided, uninformed DIY CoolSculpting tutorial or YouTube video.
One such admonishment is found in the Journal of Wound Care, which highlights a case study of an unfortunate patient with “Full-thickness wounds resulting from ‘do-it-yourself’ cryolipolysis.” The study details the case of “a 55-year-old woman who suffered frostbite while attempting a ‘do-it-yourself’ version of cryolipolysis.” According to the Journal of Wound Care, the patient attempted DIY CoolSculpting at home using a self-made ice pack belt. This attempt at DIY CoolSculpting resulted 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.” The study also published gruesome pictures of the injury that would surely deter any discerning patient from attempting CoolSculpting at home.
Eliminate Fat, Safely and Effectively with a Genuine CoolSculpting Treatment
If you struggle from stubborn fat bulges that resist diet and exercise, chilling away fat may be an ideal solution for you. Invest in a treatment that really works. Save your time and prevent severe injury by seeking out a legitimate Dallas CoolSculpting provider like Santé Medical Aesthetics. Conveniently located in Southlake Texas, Santé Medical Aesthetics is a premier Dallas CoolSculpting provider and encourages new clients to “freeze” their fat safely and effectively by offering up to 25% off CoolSculpting Cost.
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