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.

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.

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.