Painful Itching After CoolSculpting - Is This Normal?

I did the procedure on my lower and upper abdomen 3 weeks ago. Still painful and itchy, is it common? Please help.

Doctor Answers 16

Many patients do experience itching.

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Itching is the symptom experienced by some patients due to the inflammation caused by the fat cells breaking down and being eliminated by the body. It commonly resolves after 2 weeks but can last longer.  You should not have any skin changes or a rash.  If you are concerned you should contact your doctor. There are some treatments that can help with these symptoms if the persist.

Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Itchiness and pain/tenderness is very common after coolsculpting

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Itchiness and pain/tenderness is very common after coolsculpting.  These symptoms can last for a few weeks and will gradually resolve.  However, if there is any change to the overlying skin, such as redness or scaliness; you should go to your doctor to have it evaluated.

William Kwan, MD, FAAD
San Francisco Dermatologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Itching After CoolSculpting

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Itching is a common side effect as the fat cells are breaking down. It generally lasts less than 2 weeks but can persist in some patients. You can manage the discomfort with anti-inflamatories and over counter Tylenol. If the itching is more than you can manage, contact your treating physician as soon as possible. If there any skin changes or rash, contact your treating physician as soon as possible.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

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Why can Cool Sculpting cause painful itching?

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This maybe simply due to irritation of the sensory nerves.  The first step is to use anti-inflaamatories and over counter tylenol.  Other medications like Lyrica maybe necessary.

Body reshaping can be performed with a cannula that removes fat via liposuction or with noninvasive technology like Cool Sculpting. With Cool Sculpting there is no cannula inserted into your body. All treatments are performed on the surface from the outside in using technology that freezes the fat. Don’t hesitate to give us a call in Austin regarding a Body Reshaping Consult at the Upper Room. On our Facebook Page there is an Interview I recently did with KVUE, a local news station in Austin, that was picked by affiliates around the United States, including Miami. During the Interview we discussed the technology of Cool Sculpting as well as it application process.

It is quite normal post treatment side effect - should resolve!

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Itching is one of the possible side effects after the Coolsculpting. It normally lasts for 3-4 days but in rare cases it may take 2 weeks before it gets better. Other common side effects include mild bruising, cramping, needles and pins sensation under the skin or tingling. You can take Motrin or Ibuprofen and if your symptoms last for more than 2 weeks you should contact your doctor for an evaluation.

Painful Itching After CoolSculpting - Is This Normal?

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Itching after a Coolsculpting procedure is a common side effect. The itchy feeling comes from the inflammatory response to the treatment. Your body is working hard to clean up those “frozen” fat cells and when that is happening, you will experience itching deep inside the tissue and sometimes even sporadic sharp pains. This period of discomfort usually lasts from 3-7 days following a Coolsculpting treatment and in most patients resolves within one week. It is also common to have lingering numbness and tingling that can be apparent for 2 -4 weeks. Compression garments can be helpful following Coolsculpting because they hold the treated area firmly in place and protects clothing from rubbing.

Frank J. Baron, MD
Mercer Island Dermatologist

Itching After CoolSculpting

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Itching is a common side effect after a CoolSculpting procedure. The itching or hypersensitivity is due to the inflammation from the procedure. Compression garments - such as an abdominal binder, spanx or control top pantyhose, can often help with the itching. I also recommend contacting your provider if the itching is severe or is interfering with work or sleep. They can possibly prescribe you a medication - such as Lyrica or Lidoderm Lidocaine patches - to help.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 152 reviews

Itching after CoolSculpting

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Typically, there is minimal to no downtime after CoolSculpting though patients may experience temporary pain or discomfort. Side effects can include redness, bruising, swelling, tenderness to the touch, cramping, itching, tingling, and numbness. Itching is a normal side effect, and should subside in time. Best of luck.

Yes. Very common

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As the body heals itching and soreness is very common. Realize that although this is not surgery actual cells have been affected with treatment and there is a normal inflammatory then healing phase. This is a completely normal part of your healing phase. 

Eric Chang, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Is itching normal after CoolSculpting?

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Everyting you are expriencing can occur after CoolSculpting and are not a sign of any problem.  Typically the symptoms you have reported start several days after the procedure and are more commonly experieced when doing the stomach than the love handles or back area.  The problem will resolve spontaneously usually within several weeks and can be treated with a cool compresses, or an over the counter pain reliever.  If that doesn't help than a prescription analgesic can be used for a short period of time.

Ted Brezel, MD
Long Island Dermatologic Surgeon

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.