CoolSculpting® Blog

Learn More About the Procedure from the Specialists at Germain Dermatology

As the top CoolSculpting® provider in the state, Germain Dermatology is committed to keeping patients informed about the latest trends related to the procedure. Explore our blog to learn more.

Combine CoolSculpting® with Exercise for Enhanced Body Sculpting

When it comes to those resistant rolls of fat you can’t seem to get rid of (like love handles, a beer gut, or a double chin), there’s a highly effective cosmetic treatment at your disposal: cryolipolysis. The Charleston-based Germain Dermatology team recommends that patients who want to not only enjoy the “fat-blasting” results of the treatment known as CoolSculpting®, but also to prolong them, should be prepared to hit the gym.

During a CoolSculpting® session, pesky fat cells in select areas are cooled to a temperature that crystallizes and kills them, while the skin, fat, and structures around them remain unaffected. On average, up to 20 percent of fat volume in the area is reduced over the months after a treatment.

Unfortunately, this result doesn’t mean patients can eat whatever and whenever they want. While regular exercise isn’t a strict requirement for CoolSculpting® patients, it is the best way to preserve a desired slim look.

If you do gain additional pounds after CoolSculpting®, the fat can be distributed to other areas of the body, and the cells that are left over in the treatment site are likely to expand as well—which is the last thing you want. CoolSculpting® can give you an boost to take your body to the next level in terms of sleek contours, but staying healthy and active is the only way to maintain that newly lean figure in the long-term. Additionally, if you want to undergo additional CoolSculpting® sessions in the future, you’ll need to maintain a stable weight.

Unlike major surgical procedures like liposuction or body lifts, there are no incisions, needles, or stitches involved in cryolipolysis. That means you won’t have to prepare for weeks of downtime, and there’s no need to hold off on exercising or physical exertion for months while you recuperate. Patients who have just received CoolSculpting® can go right back to their normal activities practically right away. Many are inspired and encouraged by the significant fat reduction results from CoolSculpting® and take even better care of themselves after their treatment.

Curious about what CoolSculpting® can do for you? The Germain Dermatology team is happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact the Charleston-based practice by calling 1-844-SC-CHILL or request a personal consultation online.

A Closer Look at Post-Pregnancy CoolSculpting®

It’s only natural that in the aftermath of carrying a small, growing human for nine months, a woman’s body will experience dramatic changes. Your bone structure is altered, your center of gravity shifts, your weight changes, and even your hair and skin are affected.

When it comes to body contours, there is a way for women to restore their pre-baby appearance without surgery, if that’s what they’re after. The Germain Dermatology team helps patients reduce isolated fat bulges for a leaner look with CoolSculpting® treatments. The Charleston-based practice explains that CoolSculpting®, also referred to as cryolipolysis, can boost confidence without the need for major surgery or injections.

Many women develop a “belly bump” or “postpartum pooch” as fat accumulates around the lower stomach area. The abdominal muscles, or sit up muscles, often become separated and weakened as a result of pregnancy. After expanding to accommodate the growing baby, skin may become lax and saggy, while connective tissues stretch. It’s normal to gain around 25 to 35 pounds, and this weight often goes to the lower body, around the thighs, hips, and butt. As your body continues to adjust after childbirth and breastfeeding, it can sometimes be a struggle to shed baby weight and maintain a positive body image.

Wherever your “problem areas” are—from the upper arms, to the flanks, belly, or butt—chances are good that non-invasive fat reduction can significantly reduce the volume there. The CoolSculpting® device sits directly against grabbable pockets of fat and cools the fat cells down to a temperature that crystallizes and kills them, while leaving the surrounding tissues and skin unharmed.

The fat cells are then processed out of the body, as opposed to lifestyle-based fat-reduction methods that simply shrink cells by reducing some of their fat content. And even better, you’ll be back on your feet almost right away with little to no discomfort, which makes CoolSculpting® ideal for busy moms. The results continue to gradually improve over the course of 12 to 14 weeks, by which time the full extent of the changes will be noticeable. This technique is best on moms who are already slimmer, with a BMI of less than 25 percent and who simply want to reduce a small amount of pinchable fat.

Interested in learning more about post-pregnancy CoolSculpting®? Germain Dermatology in Charleston, SC, can help you find the personalized solution you need. Fill out a contact form or call 1-844-SC-CHILL for more details.

Who Are the Best Candidates for CoolSculpting®?

CoolSculpting® is a unique body contouring method that can help restore confidence in your appearance and contribute towards a slimmer waist, flatter stomach, sculpted legs, or other body goals you’ve set for yourself. But how do you know if the procedure is right for you? A full consultation with a qualified provider can help you make the final decision. Germain Dermatology is home to our certified, highly experienced CoolSculpting® specialists. When it comes to CoolSculpting® in Charleston, SC, we uphold a “Lovely Results Promise” to ensure each patient receives the best possible care.

That means every patient works directly with our CoolSculpting® specialists to develop a customized treatment plan and discuss realistic expectations.

If you are clinically overweight or more than 30 pounds from your goal weight, CoolSculpting may not be the best choice for you. It is intended to reduce small pockets, resistant pockets of fat, rather than large volumes. Unlike gastric bypass surgery, it’s not a weight loss solution. It’s also not an alternative to healthy eating and exercise.

The treatment works best for people who are in good overall shape, with just a few small bulges of pinchable fat, perhaps due to aging, pregnancy, or weight fluctuations. CoolSculpting® is good for addressing bra fat, belly fat, love handles, double chin, thigh fat, arms, and knees.

Skin quality should also be considered. If you’re hoping to improve the appearance of moderate to severely lax or excess skin, CoolSculpting® may not be the most beneficial treatment.

The CoolSculpting® applicator allows fat cells to be cooled in a precise, controlled manner, while leaving surrounding skin, tissue, and muscle unscathed. This frozen fat is flushed out for good through the lymphatic system in the following months. Adding to that, there are a number of other perks to CoolSculpting®. There is little to no downtime involved, the treatment is virtually painless, and there are fewer risks associated with CoolSculpting® when compared to traditional fat reduction surgeries like liposuction.

Germain Dermatology has administered more than 5,000 CoolSculpting® treatments to date, earning the title of No. 1 practice in South Carolina from manufacturer Zeltiq. To find out more about CoolSculpting® in the Charleston area, call 1-844-SC-CHILL to reach us directly or request a consultation online.

Summertime CoolSculpting®

Summer is still in full swing, which (hopefully!) means pool parties, barbecues, exotic vacations, and long days at the beach. In this time of fun and excitement, the last thing most of us want to be feeling is self-conscious about our body shape. Chances are, when most people picture the perfect bathing suit body, they don’t think of thick arms, love handles, and pot bellies, yet most of us will admit to having at least one area of our body we wouldn’t mind slimming down.

Looking your most beach-ready is often more than simply being skinny. A symmetrical, proportional frame with fat in the “right” places is often viewed as an enviable form. Beauty magazines and fitness experts offer plenty of tips for getting that much desired, toned, slender physique with balanced proportions. But as most people who have tried to get into shape can attest, cutting down on sugary snacks and hitting the gym won’t necessarily take fat away from tricky areas, like a double chin or muffin top.

If working out and dieting aren’t zapping that one persistent deposit of fat, CoolSculpting® can help. The secret to this treatment’s success lies in its method of directly destroying fat cells, which are the root of the surplus volume issue. Weight loss practices shrink fat cells by burning calories, but these fat cells continue to store lipids and can expand again if weight is gained back. With CoolSculpting®, the device physically causes the cells themselves to break down, leaving nothing behind to potentially expand in the future. Cells crystallized via CoolSculpting® are then eliminated from the body through natural metabolic processes.

For women looking to show off skin invisible under more layers during colder months, CoolSculpting® can address stubborn bra fat, saddlebags around the inner and outer thighs, “banana fold” beneath the buttocks, love handles, and belly fat. Men, whose problem areas tend to be located around the stomach where fat is stored most abundantly, can slim down their torso for a more chiselled physique.

Remember, since the fat-destruction process is gradual, results take time. That means there’s no time like the present to get started.

Germain Dermatology is here to assist women and men in Charleston with any CoolSculpting-related questions. If you’re interested in booking an appointment, send a message or call 1-844-SC-CHILL for more details.

The Basics of Fat: Development, Distribution, and Types

Men and women in the Charleston area seeking CoolSculpting® treatments can rely on Germain Dermatology for personalized care throughout each step of the process. As you may be aware, CoolSculpting® is a fat-reduction method designed to target and kill fat cells. It does this by reducing temperatures in targeted tissue to crystalize excess deposits of unwanted fat and mark these temperature-sensitive cells for elimination without affecting the surrounding skin and tissue.

Fat—its excess, loss, and appearance—has been the subject of societal fascination for decades, especially as the health risks associated with obesity have become better known. While CoolSculpting® and related treatments are not intended to impact weight or health, the number of people who use cosmetic techniques to change the contours of their body has risen steadily in recent years.

But what, really, are fat cells and what is their function in the human body?

In the third trimester of pregnancy, a fetus begins to acquire fat cells. These contribute to the chubby, rounded look of babies and early childhood. Throughout puberty, each person gains a set number of fat cells, and the way these are stored and distributed varies from person to person. Once in place, a person’s fat distribution doesn’t change much during adulthood.

Cells containing fat, otherwise known as adipocytes, are connective tissues that are found under the skin, on top of the kidneys, in the liver, around the heart, and elsewhere. They are highly active cells that control the body’s energy balance, support the immune system, regulate metabolism by releasing certain hormones, and act as a cushioning layer. Each cell is a small sphere that mostly consists of triglycerides—a type of lipid.

Fat in the body can be categorized into four main types: brown, white, subcutaneous, and visceral. Brown fat “burns” calories and white fat droplets to create heat when it is exposed to cold. White fat is more abundant and serves as the body’s largest fuel reserve, supporting internal and physical activities. An excess of deep visceral fat, which wraps around the internal organs, is associated with health risks. Subcutaneous fat is located directly beneath the skin and used to determine overall body fat.

CoolSculpting® targets the subcutaneous fat, where changes in volume are especially visible.

Have questions or concerns about fat and CoolSculpting® in Charleston? Find out more about your cosmetic options and work with a provider to develop a customized treatment plan. Call Germain Dermatology at 1-844-SC-CHILL or fill out a contact form online.

Freezing Fat Away: What to Expect from CoolSculpting®

Every person has some degree of superficial fat, but we all store fat differently. Many people have discovered that frequent exercise and dieting that leads to overall weight loss may still not reduce resistant bulges of fat in specific areas, such as under the chin or on the flanks or abdomen. This may be explained by the fact that regardless of body type, we establish a set number of fat cells during our childhood and teenage years. These numbers stabilize in adulthood. When adults gain or lose weight, the fat cells are not changing in number, but are expanding or shrinking in volume.

Destroying fat cells, as with the cold from a CoolSculpting® treatment, actually changes the numbers, however.

Studies have shown that adipocytes (fat cells) are more sensitive to temperature changes than the surrounding muscle, skin, and more. The CoolSculpting® applicator impacts all of this tissue, but only the fat cells are irreparably damaged. The cooldown that kills the fat cells is followed by an additional massage that intensifies the process. Throughout this treatment, patients can read, take a nap, or even answer emails. Once it’s done, patients can return to their usual activities.

Before any of this, however, a member of the Germain Dermatology team will help you determine whether or not you are a good candidate for CoolSculpting® during a one-on-one consultation. This is also when you will work together to pinpoint problem areas and develop a personalized treatment plan that caters to your individual needs.

A non-invasive alternative to surgical fat-reduction techniques, CoolSculpting® offers many benefits: It is convenient, helps clothes fit better on patients, and is fast, safe, and effective.

Initial results typically appear within six to eight weeks, with the most dramatic changes visible within two to six months. Depending on your ideal outcome, multiple sessions are likely required to get the most out of this treatment.

Learn more about CoolSculpting® in the Charleston area, or arrange a consultation by contacting Germain Dermatology directly. Send a message online or call 1-844-SC-CHILL.

CoolSculpting® vs Liposuction: Comparing Fat Reduction Strategies

Before making a decision on which fat-reduction strategy to choose, it’s important to understand the major similarities and differences between nonsurgical and surgical options. As Charleston-based fat reduction specialists, the Germain Dermatology team is highly experienced in all aspects of nonsurgical CoolSculpting®. Here are four aspects to consider:

Treatment Areas

CoolSculpting® and liposuction surgery can both be used to address resistant pockets of fat on most of the body. Efforts are commonly applied to under-the-chin fat, belly fat, love handles, banana rolls, inner thigh fat, saddlebags, and flabby upper arms.

How They Work

Quite simply, liposuction vacuums manually loosened fat from specific areas of the body. The procedure typically lasts between one to four hours and requires patients to receive general or local anesthesia. An incision is made, and fat is suctioned through a thin tube that may be waved back and forth to separate the fat cells from the surrounding tissue. After this, the incision is sutured shut, and patients often set aside days or weeks for recovery and recuperation as swelling, bruising, and other side effects resolve.

CoolSculpting® utilizes localized freezing to kill of fat cells by crystallizing them. No incisions are required, as the entirely non-invasive device works through the surface of the skin to cool the fat cells beneath. Once killed off, these unwanted cells are gradually metabolized and filtered out of the body. Generally speaking, while each person’s treatment plan will vary depending on his or her goals, CoolSculpting® sessions require roughly a half hour to an hour spent in the clinic. No down time is required after, and any bruising or swelling will resolve on its own as patients go about their daily lives.

Results

Most patients will see visible results from CoolSculpting® after about three weeks, with optimal results showing up around three months later. Multiple sessions may be required to achieve the desired contours. Liposuction reveals immediate volume reduction, but post-surgical swelling must fully resolve over days and weeks in order to best show off the new contours. In both cases, the fat cells removed by the procedure are gone for good.

Safety and Convenience

Part of the appeal of CoolSculpting® is its non-invasive nature, which makes it faster in terms of the session itself, as well as recovery. No anaesthetics are required. It is also considerably less expensive than a surgical solution, which carries the associated risks and costs of sedation.

For more details on CoolSculpting®, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Germain Dermatology team. Call 1-844-SC-CHILL or send a message online.

After CoolSculpting®: How Can I Maintain My Results?

CoolSculpting® candidates at our Charleston-area practice often come in ready to lose their excess, unwanted fat. They’ve read the information, met the health criteria for the treatment, had their questions answered to their satisfaction, and are prepared to enjoy the results of nonsurgical, cold-based fat reduction.

But then what?

Fat cells are processed by the body in the weeks and months after a session, leading to results that unfold gradually, but noticeably, but that’s not what we’re talking about. This post is about the long haul. In other words, it involves making lifestyle choices to ensure the new, slimmer contours are there to stay.

Even though the broken-down fat cells are incapable of returning to their former size (given the fact that they’re basically physically kicked out of the body), there are other fat cells to be found from virtually head to toe. If given the chance, these fat cells can grow in size—as always.

This is why regular exercise and a diet based on moderation are critically important after a CoolSculpting® session. An abundance of calories can lead to new bulges in new places, changing the overall look of the body—and drawing attention away from the areas that were recently reduced.

At CoolSculpting® Charleston, we strongly encourage all of our patients to develop healthy habits before their fat-reduction session. This makes it easier to continue those habits after the fat is gone. That said, we have also found that many of our patients find inspiration in their new, slimmer look. A flatter belly can actually be motivating to continue a life marked by healthy eating and regular activity!

Find out more about what you can do before—and after—a CoolSculpting® treatment to maximize your results in Summerville and Mt. Pleasant. Call 843-881-4440 or send a message online.

Questions Answered: Is CoolSculpting® Good for Weight Loss?

Pretty much everyone with an ample stomach wants to lose belly fat. The Charleston area’s Germain Dermatology regularly works with both women and men who wish their abdomen were flatter. The motivations behind that wish, however, tend to vary.

Some people are generally trim, but have a stubborn bulge that just won’t go away. Others are overweight and want to slim down all over—not just on their midsection. As a fat-reduction treatment, CoolSculpting® is ideal for helping people to achieve their desired shape. It is not, however, intended to be a weight-loss strategy.

The CoolSculpting® device is designed to chill unwanted fat cells, crystalizing them without harming the nearby skin, muscle, nerves, or other tissues. Each session has the potential to reduce the number of fat cells in the targeted area by about 20 percent. Note that these are subcutaneous fat cells, which sit just below the skin.

Fat that sits deeper in the body, known as visceral fat, is the likely culprit behind a large midsection and is associated with being overweight—as well as the medical problems that come with obesity. These fat cells are not impacted by cold and can only be reduced by burning more calories than you eat. This fat can be tamed with diet and exercise or, in certain cases, a medical procedure, such as gastric bypass.

Patients who do lose significant weight thanks to lifestyle changes will lower their risk of a host of health problems, including heart disease and stroke. On the cosmetic front, however, they may find that while they enjoy tighter belts, smaller sizes in clothing, and a lower number on the bathroom scale, there is still a pocket of fat here or there that won’t go away. It may be a double chin or a noticeably thick part of the thighs.

That is what CoolSculpting® is for.

Find out more about which types of belly fat can be treated with CoolSculpting® at Germain Dermatology in Summerville and Mt. Pleasant. Call 843-881-4440 or send a message online.

The Science Behind CoolSculpting®

CoolSculpting® is a non-invasive body sculpting treatment for addressing stubborn pockets of excess fat. Many people may have heard the name—or even had a treatment session or two—but not know how the technology driving it came to be. When it comes to body sculpting, Summerville and Mt. Pleasant’s Germain Dermatology recommends CoolSculpting® to a wide variety of patients, as well as works to ensure they understand what it is they’re signing up for.

Cryolipolysis—selectively killing fat cells with cold—was first explored in the 1970s, but surgical removal of fat via liposuction was what caught on as a popular plastic surgery procedure, even as cryolipolysis was still being researched.

Doctors accidentally discovered cryolipolysis when they noticed children exhibiting mild redness and swelling in their cheeks when sucking on an ice cube or a popsicle. These symptoms would sometimes last up to three days, and physicians discovered that the fat would gradually decrease in the area of the cheek that had been affected by the ice. Scientists referred to this as “popsicle panniculitis.” They eventually theorized that the adipose (or fat-based) tissue was affected more than skin and other tissues were by the cold temperatures.

In 2007, after significant research in an attempt to prove this theory, doctors concluded that fat cells crystallize and die when they are exposed to certain temperatures that do not impact other tissues. The scientific term for this occurrence is “apoptosis,” which describes the natural and controlled death of cells. The body’s natural inflammatory response activates when targeted fat cells are frozen. This activation triggers the release of specialized cells that digest the dead fat cells. The freed lipids are also cleaned out through the lymphatic system.

The entire process is referred to as “selective cryolipolysis.” These physician-led discoveries laid the groundwork for developing the technology used in CoolSculpting® treatments today. Researchers were able to finalize their theory, which stated that fat cells die when they are exposed to a specific freezing temperature range for an extended period, resulting in a reduction of subcutaneous fat in the targeted areas. CoolSculpting® was approved by the FDA and has since become a popular body sculpting treatment.

The number of fat cells in our body becomes stable once we reach our teenage years. This means that any future gained weight is not because we’ve gained new fat cells, but is because the current cells are growing in size. CoolSculpting® targets these cells to be flushed from the body—not merely reduced in size. While you may have fewer fat cells in treated areas, it is still essential to maintain a proper diet and exercise routine to prevent the remaining fat cells from accumulating excess fat and growing.

To learn more about Germain Dermatology and CoolSculpting®, call 843-881-4440 or send a message online.