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.

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.

Is All Fat the Same?

When we hear the word “fat,” our thoughts may turn to an image of a big belly, love handles, thick thighs, or a double chin. Those are all the result of collections of large fat cells, to be sure, but fat is more than a dreaded creator of rolls and bulges. There are actual two types of body fat classifications. Charleston, SC’s Germain Dermatology works to educate patients on the differences between the two—in addition to slimming down the areas where the less-desirable kind is known to gather.

About 90 percent of all body fat should be what is known as subcutaneous fat, found just beneath the skin. This is the fat that provides contours and roundness in the face and elsewhere. It can diminish over time, leading to a hollow, aged look on the face, where sunken cheeks are not typically seen as desirable.

Too much subcutaneous fat can provide too much roundness, however. Subcutaneous fat is pinchable and can gather on the abdomen, upper arms and legs, sides, back, and neck, as well as beneath the buttocks.

Fortunately, subcutaneous fat is susceptible to cold temperatures, which is how CoolSculpting® works to reduce the number of fat cells in a treatment area.

The remaining 10 percent of a person’s fat is visceral, which is found deeper in the body and typically works to surround and protect internal organs. Though it may be less of a cosmetic concern overall, it can still contribute to a large, bulging belly—as well as several serious health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

Exercise and diet are ideal strategies for taming visceral fat, especially since these fat cells are far too deep in the body to be impacted by the cold from a CoolSculpting® treatment.

To learn more about body fat classifications and what CoolSculpting® can do, contact CoolSculpting Charleston at Germain Dermatology by calling 1-844-SC-CHILL or sending a message online.

Determining the Cost of CoolSculpting®

How much does CoolSculpting® cost? South Carolina’s Germain Dermatology team hears this question. Men and women facing stubborn pockets of fat typically want to know how much fat they can lose, how long it will take, will it hurt, when they will see results, and how much it will cost.

Money is definitely a factor to consider when planning for a CoolSculpting® session. The nonsurgical procedure is appealing precisely for the fact that it does not involve anesthetics, incisions, sutures, or any of the costs associated with those elements.

That said, money is also something best discussed during a private consultation.

This is because every patient’s treatment plan will be unique, with costs determined by the specific areas to be treated and the number of treatments required.

For anyone considering what to do about diet-resistant fat anywhere on the body, the Germain Dermatology team encourages learning more and reaching out. Once specifics are established, a clearer picture of cost will emerge.

Since insurance does not cover the elective fat-reduction procedure, Germain Dermatology works to ensure several payment options are available. In addition to accepting all major credit cards, checks, and cash, financing is available through a program known as GreenSky, which offers loans.

Learn more about CoolSculpting® and its costs by calling Germain Dermatology at 1-844-SC-CHILL or sending a message online.

Cold-Weather CoolSculpting®?

When it comes to CoolSculpting® in Charleston, SC, winter is not exactly the time of year people turn their thoughts to slimming down for swimsuit season. If anything, the ongoing schedule of big meals that run from Thanksgiving through the holiday season result more in expanding waistlines.

Aside from the fact that maintaining a healthy diet and enjoying regular exercise are two important commitments no matter the time of year, the colder months are an excellent time to consider a CoolSculpting® treatment.

The main reason is because fat-freezing results take time to appear.

When treatment begins, it causes fat cells to crystalize, inducing a natural process known as apoptosis, or cell death. The destroyed cells are then marked for removal and excreted as waste.

The physical removal of these destroyed fat cells from the area takes weeks to months, meaning volume will gradually decrease. Studies have shown that patients can expect a reduction of up to 25 percent per session, which means ideal results may take multiple visits.

With that timeline in mind, starting a series of CoolSculpting® sessions during the cooler months means slimmer, sleeker results will be visible as swimsuits begin to appear in stores, welcoming people to a new season of warmer weather once again.

To find out more about timing CoolSculpting® treatments and the benefits of this nonsurgical fat-reduction method, contact CoolSculpting Charleston by calling 1-844-SC-CHILL or send a message online.

CoolSculpting® for Arms! NOW AVAILABLE ~ Germain Dermatology

Coolsculpting For Arms

As the newest member of the CoolAdvantage family of applicators, the CoolAdvantage Petite comes with two interchangeable contours designed to uniquely treat the upper arm area in just 35 minutes.

According to statistics provided by CoolSculpting® manufacturer Zeltiq, there are 29 million people in the U.S. interested in CoolSculpting®, with more than 14 million expressing concern about unwanted arm fat, making arms the third-most popular area for consideration of non-invasive fat reduction.

“The upper arm fat area used to be a challenge to treat and all too often, there weren’t options that were non-invasive. We’ve had many patients who won’t wear sleeveless shirts or dresses because they want to hide their arms. With the new FDA-cleared CoolSculpting® applicator at our office, it’s a non-invasive solution to treat that stubborn arm fat.” said Marguerite Germain, MD, FACS, founder of Germain Dermatology.

Germain Dermatology is proud to be the first practice in the Southeast and only practice in Charleston to have the newest CoolSculpting® applicator that has been FDA-cleared for upper arms, making it the only non-invasive fat removal technology cleared by the FDA to address this body area.

Germain Dermatology will host a CoolSculpting® event on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. to showcase this new applicator with a live demonstration and free consultation at their office at 612 Seacoast Parkway. Guests should RSVP by calling 1-844-SC-CHILL.