Is CoolSculpting suppose to burn during the procedure, and what does the temperature have to be on for it to work?

Doctor Answers 14

Burning is Common

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A burning sensation is common with CoolSculpting, while others experience the full "cold" sensation.  The sensitivity can be more or less intense depending on the area treated, and is generally mild and well tolerated by most.  These variable sensations typically subside with the first 10 minutes after the skin becomes numbed.  The temperature is preset by the CoolSculpting computer, generally 10 degrees celcius.

Washington Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Coolsculpting temperature and burning sensation

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The temperature is programmed by the company. The burning sensation is frequently experienced at the start of treatment, but generally fades after 6 to 8 minutes. If you have any concerns contact your treating physician. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Burning sensation during cool sculpt

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A Burning sensation is part of what you may feel during cool sculpting. The software and device itself sets the temperature, not the nurse so don't worry that anything went wrong. It is all preset per say. 

Robert Heck, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Is CoolSculpting suppose to burn during the procedure, and what does the temperature have to be on for it to work?

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Thank you for your question. A burning sensation can be normal initially and usually subsides a few minutes into the treatment. The temperature is already preset by Zeltiq at a safe temperature optimal for fat cell death. Regards, 

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 517 reviews

CoolSculpting Side Effects

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A burning sensation is a common during or after the CoolSculpting treatment.  Everyone's body reacts differently to the treatment, and a burning sensation is one way people react to the cooling, similar to when you are icing a hurt muscle.  The temperature is set on the device by the company who manufactures it and is set at a temperature that freezes the fat cells, but does not harm any surrounding tissues or nerves. 

Burning with Coolsculpting

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Many patients describe a temporary "burning" sensation initially with a Coolsculpting treatment even though the tissue is actually getting colder. This typically lasts a couple minutes then resolves as the area then feels a little numb due to the cold. The temperature is cold enough to destroy some of the fat, but not so cold as to injure the skin, blood vessels, or nerves. Overall, most patients would describe the treatment as "easy and painless". Numbness can persist for several days after the treatment but eventually resolves.Andrew Campbell, M.D.Quintessa Aesthetic Centers

Andrew Campbell, MD
Milwaukee Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Coolsculpting...actually very comfortable.

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Having treated many patients with coolsculpting...over many areas of the body, I have not had a patient report any burning. The temperature is not adjusted and CoolSculpting machine is temperature sensitive reading the skin temperature throughout the entire process. The cooling is used to target fat cells which are more temperature sensitive than the surrounding cells. 

Kaleroy Papantoniou, MD, FAAD
Great Neck Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews


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During the procedure you may feel tugging, pulling, and a bit stinging as the cooling starts. But after a couple minutes, it feels numb. The temperature is constantly monitored and will stop the treatment if it detects a change.

Robert G. Aycock, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Cool sculpting burning

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Most patients describe some discomfort when the initial applicators are placed in position for their cool sculpting procedure.  Some describe it as burning although most describe it as being cold.  There is no actual burning occurring.  CoolSculptings' new handpieces which they call ,Cool Advantage, require less suction and are reportedly less painful.  They also require only thirty-five minutes per procedure instead of an hour, so this is a big benefit.   The temperature for CoolSculpting is slightly below 39°, the temperature at which fat freezes.  Dr. Adrienne Stewart MD FAAD

Adrienne E. Stewart, MD
Denver Dermatologic Surgeon

CoolSculpting burning

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The temperature of the CoolSculpting applicators has been very carefully determined through clinical trials to provide enough of a cold injury to destroy unwanted fat, but not enough to destroy healthy skin, blood vessels, and nerves.  Just the same, it is cold enough to produce a burning sensation when first applied.  Everyone feels this briefly but within minutes it disappears.  Most patients are so comfortable they could nap during most of the procedure.  Beware of black market devices however that advertise themselves as CoolSculpting, but are not true CoolSculpting devices made by the Zeltiq company.  They have been known to produce actual burns of the skin which is almost unheard of with the real technology.  Your local CoolSculpting expert can give you more information.  Best, Dr. Shafran

Kerry M. Shafran, MD
Charlotte Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.