Popsicles & Fat Loss: The Strange Connection that Created CoolSculpting

By Kelly Wala, RN BSN October 9, 2013 13 Comments

Popsicle image

CoolSculpting has rapidly become one of the most popular body contouring treatments offered at our practice. And what’s not to like? CoolSculpting has been shown to effectively reduce targeted body fat that is very difficult to lose by diet and exercise alone. CoolSculpting treatments are non-invasive, which means there is no need for needles, incisions, or anesthesia. The best part of all of this is the fact that there is little to no recovery time needed.

The story of how CoolSculpting was developed is almost as interesting as the results of the treatment itself.

The idea behind CoolSculpting was the brainchild of two doctors, Dr. Rox Anderson and Dr. Dieter Manstein, who are both associated with the Wellman Center of Photomedicine, affiliated with the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.

The two doctors were both familiar with a strange phenomenon known as “popsicle panniculitis”, which has to do with the loss of cheek fat that occurs while sucking on a frozen popsicle. At the time there was also a recently documented case where a woman who rode naked in the cold weather on a horse, reported the loss of fat in her inner thighs. We’re not sure why anyone would ride a horse naked in the freezing cold, but it is certainly interesting.

Both cases documented a connection between the exposure of an area of the body to cold temperature and resulting fat loss in the area. From this correlation, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Manstein hypothesized that perhaps applying extreme cold to fat could result in fat loss as well.

With trial and error Dr. Anderson and Dr. Manstein discovered that fat was actually much more sensitive to cold than nerves, skin, muscle and other body tissue. The doctors were able to pinpoint a precise temperature that served to maximize the destruction of fat, while leaving all of the other structures unharmed, and thus the concept of cryolipolysis was created.

When fat cells are exposed to cold temperatures they become terminally injured and gradually die. Over time, the body seeks to remove these dying cells, with absolutely no increase in either cholesterol levels or lipid levels in the blood. Further research revealed that approximately 25% of fat in the abdomen was reduced in only one treatment. Additional treatments have been shown to further reduce the fat by nearly the same amount, which is very promising for those looking to reduce fat.

CoolSculpting was approved by the FDA in 2010 and was initially used off label for fat reduction. We began offering CoolSculpting at Westlake Dermatology shortly after the FDA approval. It was integrated into our services quickly after seeing such great results from the treatment.

Are you interested in CoolSculpting or have you had the treatment? Leave a comment below and tell us your thoughts!


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.


13 Responses to “Popsicles & Fat Loss: The Strange Connection that Created CoolSculpting”

  1. Emma G. says:

    This is really interesting method, and I have read about it for the first time in this article. Besides this method I only knew about laser liposuction which is completely non-invasive. However this treatment is totally of different kind.

  2. John S. says:

    Interesting read, makes me want a popsicle

  3. Ions says:

    Thank you for talking about this. Because of you, I’ve gone to Amy for laser hair rovemal and at my last visit, she was telling me about this service. It will more than likely be my next purchase there. Glad to hear about the great results!

  4. Francis says:

    I hear a lot about the CoolSculpting technique and I have to admit that I am impressed with all the write-ups.

  5. Leslie says:

    Appreciate this post. Will give CoolSculpting a try!

  6. Susanne says:

    Good post. I definitely love this website. Stick with
    it!

  7. Anne says:

    Just got my first CoolSculpting treatment a couple weeks ago and already feel a difference. Highly recommend!

  8. George says:

    Coming in for my first CoolSculpting treatment (neck) this week! Looking forward to freezing the fat lol

  9. Sarah says:

    The idea that cold can target fat cells—without damaging the skin or surrounding tissue—was the insight behind Cryolipolysis, the proven science on which the CoolSculpting procedure is based.

  10. Troy says:

    Greate post 😉 It is super useful. I’ve also read another How to lose Man Boobs methods that may be useful…

  11. […] The duo found out you could freeze fat from looking at how kids who suck on Popsicles can develop dimples from where the Popsicle hits their cheek.The cold-treat-induced dimpling is called “Popsicle […]

  12. Taylor says:

    Thanks for helping me learn more about coolsculpting. I had no idea that fat is more sensitive to cold than nerves and this discovery led to the concept of cryolipolysis. If that’s the case, I’m interested to learn if people with a lot of fat actually feel much colder during colder seasons.

  13. Laurel says:

    It was interesting to read that there was a 25% fat reduction in the abdomen after just one treatment of coolsculpting!

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