Is Any Damage Done to the Skin During the Fat Freezing Process?

With the freezing technique, if the fat is frozen, what's happening to the skin? Isn't the skin frozen? Damaged? Why doesn't the skin die?

Doctor Answers 13

Is There damage to the skin during Coolsculpting?


Zeltiq, the manufacturers of Coolsculpting designed a feedback from the measurement of the skin temperature back to the machine.  This is a safety feedback so the machine will not run if the skin temperature appears to be dropping too low.  This is to avoid any cold burn of the skin.  An error message will show up on the machine and the machine will stop.  So no, because the machine is intelligently designed, there is no damage to the skin!


Dr. Liu

Newport Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

CoolSculpting Will Not Damage Skin

CoolSculpting doesn’t burn, shatter or extract any cells. Developed by Harvard scientists, the procedure uses a targeted cooling process that kills the fat cells underneath the skin, literally freezing them to the point of elimination. Only fat cells are frozen. Your healthy skin cells will remain unharmed. 

CoolSculpting and your skin

Your skin stays protected by a gel pad that is placed between your skin and the machine. The temperature that the machine cools down to only affects the fat cells, which in turn keeps the skin from getting frost bite.

                                                                                                   All the best "Dr. Joe" Gryskiewicz

Cool sculpting and Skin Damage?

Thank you for the question.The cool sculpting device  is able to “target” the adipose cells because the skin is protected (with gel pads)  during the procedure. Freezing of the skin cells requires a lower temperature than does adipose cells.

I hope this helps.

CoolSculpting freezes and kills the fat cells not skin

The scientists of Zeltiq worked out the temperature sensitivities and determined at what temperature the fat cells would perish before the epdiermal cells. It is a selective process and the skin is preserved.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Coolsculpting procedure done properly protects the skin from freezing.

The coolsculpting device requires that gel pads are placed on the skin to protect it during the procedure. The skin does not freeze because it is protected.

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Coolsculpting and the skin

Coolsculpting is a very controlled and sophisticated piece of equipment that applies a temperature that is specific for killing fat cells and is not low enough to damage epidermal (skin) cells.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Coolsculpting does not damage skin

Coolsculpting does not damage the skin because skin freezes at a lower temperature than fat. After the procedure, the skin is cold and red, but within minutes, it quickly warms to room temperature. Meanwhile, the underlying fat cells commit "suicide," leaving the patient with a more desirable contour after a couple of months.

Skin remains unharmed after CoolSculpting

During the Zeltiq CoolSculpting process, a soft gel pad is first place on the skin to protect it from the cooling process.  Additionally, the fat cells are "frozen" or crystallize at the higher temperature than the skin.  Bringing the temperature to a lower temperature than it takes to freeze the fat, but above the temperature that the skin freezes is the basis to the technology.

Jason D. Bloom, MD
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Safety of Coolsculpting, Skin Protection

The skin is protected by a special gel pad which prevents damage. Also, the device constantly monitors the treatment site, if there is any indication that the skin is not properly protected, it will shut down. The CoolSculpting unit accomplishes this by very precise thermal monitoring. 

Burton M. Sundin, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 53 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.