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.

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.

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.

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.