Worried about Your Double Chin?

Friday, July 5th, 2019

So let’s talk about necks!

I have struggled with a double chin basically all my life.  Most of my family has one, even the smallest of us have a little bit of chin fat.  Through my years at Dermatology Affiliates, I have tried multiple procedures we offer in the office including both CoolSculpting with the CoolMini attachment and Kybella injectable therapy. I had results with both treatments that have lasted around 3 years since my procedures. 

Let’s start with CoolSculpting.  Back in 2015, we first got the applicator for CoolMini, a neck and chin attachment for the CoolSculpting machine.  I was one of the first people to try it in our office so I had no idea what to expect other than that it was going to be cold.  With CoolMini, the applicator is like a large suction cup that sticks on your chin.  To keep the applicator in place, they then build a little tower on your chest to support it, and put a strap around it.  To support your neck, they put a circular pillow around your head and then you lay there for an hour while you get the treatment [now you can do a double pass which is 45 minutes on each side and gives you a double session in the middle].  I had a little discomfort with this as it made me feel claustrophobic, but after about 5 minutes I adjusted.  Because it’s so cold, I didn’t have any pain but there was minor discomfort as the skin warmed up after treatment [about 5 minutes of pins and needles].  After the treatment, I had some numbness and tingling for about a week but no bruising or pain.  I didn’t see results for several months, but I definitely saw and improvement especially in the sides under my jawline.

About a year later, I underwent Kybella injectable therapy.  I had done well with CoolSculpting, but I still had a problem area in the middle.  Kybella [at the time] was specifically for the middle chin area, although now it can be done on the sides under the jaw as well.  For Kybella, they put a numbing gel on that sits for about an hour.  Once you numb, there is a series of dots applied to your chin and neck, sort of like a temporary tattoo [but it comes off right after the treatment].  The dots help the doctor evenly space the injections.  Because you’re numb, kybella is pretty painless.  There are injections, but honestly I didn’t even feel them.  You can feel as the solution goes in because it burns a little.  While I was getting it done, I just had to breathe through the stinging which stopped as soon as the doctor was done.  The next day, I had definite and obvious swelling in my chin area.  To other people, it wasn’t that noticeable but to me it felt like my chin was huge! It went down very quickly, and by Monday I looked normal again [it was about 3 days].  As with CoolSculpting, it took a few months to see results with Kybella.

So let’s compare!

I definitely saw results with both treatments, but I think my results were more impressive with Kybella.  I had more improvement on the sides of my jaw with CoolSculpting, but Kybella gave me a more dramatic result especially in the middle.

  • Which one was more comfortable? 
    To me, I had a much easier time with Kybella than CoolSculpting.  Although kybella was a bit more painful [the stinging when the solution goes in doesn’t go away with numbing], I preferred it to CoolSculpting.  I can handle a little pain, so to me, it was more pleasant to get something done and over with in a few minutes than to sit on the machine with no pain for an hour [longer if you do the double pass to get your chin double coverage]. 
  • Which one had better down time? 
    Definitely CoolSculpting!  Other than numbness, I had no changes to my body with CoolSculpting.  Externally, there was no bruising or swelling so I looked exactly the same after having it done.  I felt numbing for a while, but there was nothing for anybody else to see with coolsculpting.  After Kybella, I had a few bruises and a significant amount of swelling, both of which had resolved after about 5 days [the bruising lasted longer than swelling] and then I just had some numbness for a few weeks. 
  • What about cost? 
    Basically, this is a silly reason to pick your treatment because they are about the same.  For both, you can get the treatment done just in the middle on your chin, or on the middle and the sides under the jawline.  Assuming you compare apples to apples and get just the middle done or the whole area done, they are within a few hundred dollars of each other.

I had each treatment done at least 1 year apart, and finished in early 2017 so I have had these results for at least 2 years.  For me, Kybella was what I would chose again if I needed other treatments.  Coolsculpting definitely helped me and is the better treatment for some patients.  For someone who isn’t shy about needles, Kybella was better for me as I saw more dramatic results.  Because I had mine so far apart [1 year], I feel certain that my results fully developed with CoolSculpting before I went on to kybella. I also only did one session of each, but most patients do them twice.  Kybella is performed by the vial, of which I only did one, and CoolMini is done by the session.  Generally, people do 2 sessions of coolmini and 2-3 vials of Kybella for full results.  To be fair, if I had done each treatment to the full extent I may have seen more results with CoolSculpting and may not have needed Kybella. However, doing both treatments was beneficial for me because I think they improved different problems.  My experience is unique to me, and each patient is different so please consider this as a snapshot of what you could experience.  There are definitely people that have the opposite experience as myself, and do better with CoolSculpting than Kybella.