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Kybella Vs. CoolSculpting: Which Non-Surgical Double Chin Treatment Is Best?

Written by Kelly Wala, RN BSN, Advanced Nurse Injector on July 12, 2021 14 Comments

kybella vs coolsculpting

Originally published on December 19, 2016. Updated on July, 12, 2021 with additional information.

While surgical procedures (like liposuction and neck lift) have long been used to get rid of extra fat under the chin, there are two relatively new non-surgical options that are quickly becoming popular options to eliminate double chins – Kybella and CoolSculpting CoolMini.

A double chin (technically known as submental fullness) may be caused by genetics, weight gain, or age-related skin sag. A double-chin results from unwanted pockets of fat which hang underneath the jawline. It may be the result of loose, sagging skin, excess fat deposits, or some combination of both factors. Whatever the cause, submental fullness can negatively affect the symmetry for the face, with severe double chins resulting in an unwanted older and heavier look.

Fortunately, double chins of any severity can be corrected. Surgical procedures like neck lift surgery or liposuction used to be the only effective option for removing fat underneath the chin to restore a natural firm shape to the neck. However, now there are two highly effective non-surgical options with the ability to permanently eradicate even the most severe double chins: Kybella and CoolSculpting.

Read on as we compare these two non-surgical treatment options.

Kybella

Kybella is the only injectable to gain approval by the FDA for eliminating unwanted fat under the chin. Developed through a synthetic version of dexoycholic acid, Kybella causes the rapid destruction and absorption of fat cells while also preventing future fat accumulation. The destroyed fat is cleared via the body’s natural metabolic processes. Only fat cells are targeted; all other cells and tissue are not affected.

(We recently compared Kybella to liposuction and neck lift surgery in this blog post).

What Can I Expect During Kybella Treatment?

Before treatment, the area under the chin will be numbed with a local anesthetic. The injector then makes a series of small injections into the fat under the chin. The quick in-office procedure takes no more than 15-20 minutes.

Does Kybella Hurt?

Thanks to the numbing agent, patients should feel no pain with Kybella injections. It’s common to experience slight bruising or minor discomfort at the injection sites immediately after treatment, but this should quickly subside. No downtime is necessary, as with CoolSculpting patients are able to return to your daily activities right away.

How Soon Will I Notice Kybella Results? 

To achieve their desired end results man patients, need approximately 2-6 Kybella treatments, each scheduled one month apart. Since the body needs time to dissolve and remove the broken-down fat cells, final results are visible several weeks after the last treatment.

CoolSculpting

The FDA has recently expanded its approval of CoolSculpting to smaller treatments of the body, including under the chin. A new applicator called the CoolMini is allowing patients to freeze their double chins right off.

CoolSculpting is a non-surgical body contouring treatment that uses cryotherapy to eliminate unwanted fat. The procedure uses a non-invasive applicator to deliver controlled cooling to the surface of the skin in order to freeze fat cells to the point of destruction. Destroyed fat is expelled from the body naturally through metabolic processes.

CoolMini is a special CoolSculpting applicator designed to fit the contours under the chin. CoolMini has been approved by the FDA for the reduction of submental fullness, also known as a double chin.

What Can I Expect During CoolSculpting?

During a CoolSculpting treatment, a smooth gel is applied to the area underneath your chin for additional protection during the cooling process. A specialized cooling attachment will then be slowly drawn over your skin to freeze your fat cells.

Because fat cells freeze before skin cells do, this CoolSculpting damages fat cells without negatively impacting the skin. After treatment, a brief massage further damages fat cells, preventing the body from attempts to repair them.

Does CoolSculpting Hurt?

Patients may feel slight pulling, tugging or stinging at the start of your CoolSculpting session. As the area numbs with cold, these sensations will subside. After treatment, it’s common to experience redness, swelling or discomfort in the treatment area. Since CoolSculpting is non-surgical, no downtime is required. Most patients are comfortable returning to their daily activities right away.

How Soon Will I See CoolSculpting Results?

While individual results may vary, each individual CoolSculpting treatment session reduces fat in the targeted area by an average of 18-20%. After the initial treatment is complete, further reductions can be obtained with additional treatments. Most patients benefit from 1-3 treatments, with final results occurring within 3 months of the initial treatment.

Similarities

There are few similarities between the treatments. Both Kybella and CoolMini can dramatically improve the chin area, getting rid of excess fat to leave behind a smooth defined jawline. Both treatments are also non-surgical and require no anesthesia or downtime. Side effects are minor and include swelling, bruising, redness, or lumpiness; all of which resolve on their own a few days after treatment.

While improvements are possible after a single treatment of Kybella or CoolSculpting CoolMini, most patients will require a series of treatments in order to achieve their final desired result.

Differences

For those who dislike needles there is one notable difference between the two treatments: Kybella is performed through a series of injections. However, the benefit of the injectable nature of Kybella is that it can treat smaller more isolated areas. This gives Kybella an advantage in treating individuals with a lower quantity of under-chin fat.

Kybella treatments are normally recommended for those with a minimal double chin, or for petite individuals for whom the CoolSculpting applicator may be too wide. CoolSculpting, on the other hand, is generally recommended for those who wish to remove a larger area of submental fat.

With CoolSculpting there are no needles involved. During the procedure the targeted area is treated by the applicator. As such, CoolMini is great for patients with loose or mature skin. CoolMini treats the whole area that the applicator engages with, rather than smaller targeted areas.

The two procedures also work well in unison. Kybella can be injected in the central area of submental fullness then CoolSculpting can be performed on the lateral bulge of the chin bilaterally.

Which Treatment Is Better?

So which treatment option is best? The answer depends on a myriad of factors including the unique characteristics of the patient’s skin and their desired end result. Also, it’s important for perspective patients to realize the main tradeoff when it comes to surgical vs. non-surgical submental fullness treatments: How soon end results are achieved. Kybella and CoolSculpting both allow patients to avoid the necessary downtime of surgery, but multiple treatment sessions are required to completely eliminate a double chin (which liposuction or neck lift yields final results in a single procedure).

Ultimately, the best way to find out which option is best for your induvial needs it to have an in-person consultation with a trained, experienced provider who has experiencing doing both Kybella and CoolSculpting treatments. A skilled provider will help you understand if a non-surgical method of fat removal is best for each patients’ individual needs and desired end result.


Kelly Wala, RN BSN

Kelly Wala is a Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University. As an Aesthetic Nurse Specialist for the past 10 years Kelly specialized in a full complement of non-surgical aesthetic services such as facial injectables, laser and light therapy, body contouring, and skin care. Kelly was the first in Texas to perform the Injectable Threadlift.


14 Responses to “Kybella Vs. CoolSculpting: Which Non-Surgical Double Chin Treatment Is Best?”

  1. Avatar Tina says:

    Great comparison, thanks for providing this. Would you recommend Kybella or a neck lift? Do you have any thoughts on what treatment is better for what conditions?

  2. Avatar Jenesis76 says:

    For a mature person with a sagging double chin after weight loss, which would give a better result? My husband, 59, is wondering which route to go.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Jenesis, thanks for reading our post and submitting your question! First a disclaimer: it’s always best to get an in-person consultation with a skilled provider. They will be able to isolate the best course of treatment given each individuals unique characteristics and goals.

      With that said, if your husband has a smaller degree of sublimation Kybella could be a great treatment option. However, if the issue stems from loose/sagging skin (which is common after weight loss) the best treatment options would probably be something more invasive such as liposuction or a lower facelift/neck lift.

      But again researching your options and seeing an experienced provider for an in-person consultation is always the best way to go!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  3. Avatar Maria says:

    Simple question,,which is better,,I still haven’t gotten the right answer yet.
    Kybella vs Coolscuping with someone with small double chin or big double chin.
    I heard Kybella is less expensive and gets 50% or more per treatment but need a week or so to recoup from skin treatment,,,is it true?
    Coolsculping is more expensive and don’t have any down time=skin treatment recuperation,,Is This True??
    Also what about for man’s boobs? which is better??

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Maria, thanks for reading our post and submitting your question! It’s hard to determine which is better as some variables like fat volume and skin characteristics can effect efficacy. So for that reason we always encourage people to come in for a free consultation.

      With Kybella, there is a bit more downtime required (compared to CoolSculpting). However it’s pretty minimal, especially compared to liposuction. Kybella is typically more effective for individuals with less chin fat whereas CoolSculpting is more ideal for a larger quantity. Determining total cost for either treatment option is difficult without a consultation.

      In terms of the male chest, many men might require a more invasive technique like male breast reduction or chest liposuction. So depending on what’s needed CoolSculpting may not be the best option on that front.

      However, make sure to get a consultation with someone who is experience in providing both options!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  4. Avatar John says:

    Great comparison, thanks so much for this information!! I was wondering which treatment (Kybella or CoolMini) is more expensive?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi John, thanks for reading our post and submitting your great question! Total procedure cost for each treatment can vary depending on the specific needs and end result of the patient. For example, some patients may only require a single treatment session (of either Kybella or CoolSculpting CoolMini) while others need multiple sessions.

      We did a great post on the “average” costs of both procedures here: https://www.westlakedermatology.com/blog/cosmetic-treatments-cost-guide/. That should give you some idea of cost ranges.

      Your best bet would be to come in for a free consultation. We can assess your specific needs and give you the cost for either treatment. Please contact us today if you would like to setup an in-office consultation!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  5. Avatar Vicki says:

    Wondering if Kybella could be used to supplement fat loss from lipo that either has not stayed gone or for those areas left that remained kind of lumpy like on the belly area. Thinking it may be able to treat small areas of fat to compliment what was done?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Vicki,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your great question! There are some off-label uses of Kybella as you describe. Whether or not its an appropriate treatment option for what you describe would depend upon characteristics of the issue experienced by the patient. So it is possible, but would depend on an in-person assessment.

      Thanks again for reading!

      –WD Staff

  6. Avatar Sarah says:

    My friend pointed out that my chin is sagging down a couple inches. As the holidays coming up, I would like to find a coolsculpting treatment service to tighten up my chin!

  7. Avatar Thomas says:

    It’s cool that there are no needles involved with CoolSculpting!

  8. Avatar del says:

    Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thank you .

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